What is it?

A stomach evacuation visualises how quickly the stomach empties after a standard meal has been consumed. There may be symptoms if stomach empties more quickly or slowly than usual.

Test procedure

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Are you pregnant or do you think you may be pregnant? Or are you breastfeeding? Please tell the physician before the injection. The test will not be performed if you are pregnant. If you are not sure whether you are pregnant or not, the test will be postponed until you are certain.

If you are breastfeeding, make sure to discuss this with the physician before the test. You will receive additional instructions about how to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure to your child.

Preparation for the test

You must be fasting for this test. This means that you may not eat, drink or smoke anything after midnight the night before the test. Talk with your physician about whether you may take your regular medication.

Test procedure

For the test, you must consume a standard meal (two sandwiches with a fried egg) while at the Nuclear Medicine Department. A small amount of radioactive material has been added to the egg to visualise the stomach. The images are taken immediately afterwards. Five images are taken, each one lasting one minute. A half-hour break is taken in between each image. The test takes a total of 2.5-3 hours.

You may leave the department in between images. It is important that you not eat, drink, or smoke anything in beween the images.

Safety and radiation

SPECT-CT

There are essentially no side effects: the injected product causes no abnormal sensations and only in very rare cases causes (very mild) allergic reactions. The injected radioactive material does constitute a dose of radiation, but it is very small (about as much as for a regular CT scan).

The quantity of radiation that you are exposed to during the test is not higher or lower depending on the number of images taken.

Results

We prepare a report of the test. That report and the images are digitally available to the physician who requested the test.

Centres and specialist areas

Nuclear Medicine

Latest publication date: 05/02/2021
Supervising author: Dr Van Den Bossche Bieke