Assessment of symptoms during gastric emptying scintigraphy to correlate symptoms to delayed gastric emptying

U. Khayyam, P. Sachdeva, J. Gomez, Z. Ramzan, M. S. Smith, A. H. Maurer, R. S. Fisher, H. P. Parkman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background Symptoms of gastroparesis based on patient recall correlate poorly with gastric emptying. The aim of this study is to determine if symptoms recorded during gastric emptying scintigraphy (GES) correlate with gastric emptying and with symptoms based on patient recall. Methods Patients undergoing GES completed the Patient Assessment of GI Symptoms (PAGI-SYM) assessing symptoms over the prior 2 weeks and a questionnaire for which patients graded six symptoms during GES. A Symptom Severity Index (SSI) represented the mean of six symptoms at each time point. Key Results A total of 560 patients underwent GES for clinical evaluation of symptoms. Of 388 patients included in the study: 232 patients had normal GES (NGES), 156 delayed GES (DGES), and 11 rapid GES (RGES). Symptom severity index increased pre to postprandial for each group: NGES: 0.51 ± 0.07 to 0.92 ± 0.03, DGES: 0.60 ± 0.09 to 1.13 ± 0.05, and RGES: 0.56 ± 0.12 to 0.79 ± 0.13. Delayed gastric emptying scintigraphy patients had a higher postprandial SSI than NGES patients (1.13 ± 0.05 vs 0.92 ± 0.03, P < 0.05). Postprandial symptoms of stomach fullness (1.9 ± 0.12 vs 1.5 ± 0.09; P = 0.011), bloating (1.4 ± 0.11 vs 1.1 ± 0.09; P = 0.033), and abdominal pain (1.1 ± 0.08 vs 0.7 ± 0.12; P = 0.012) were higher in DGES than NGES. Symptom severity based on PAGI-SYM for 2 weeks prior to GES correlated with symptoms during the test for nausea (NGES, r = 0.61; DGES, r = 0.70), stomach fullness (NGES, r = 0.47; DGES, r = 0.60), and bloating (NGES, r = 0.62, DGES, r = 0.66). Conclusions & Inferences Stomach fullness, bloating, and abdominal pain recorded during GES were higher in patients with delayed gastric emptying than in patients with normal gastric emptying. Symptoms recorded during GES correlated with those during daily life by patient recall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-545
Number of pages7
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Gastric emptying
  • Gastroparesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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