, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 493-496
Date: 26 Jul 2013

Radioisotopic assessment of gastric emptying of solids in elderly subjects

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Backgrounds and aims: Few studies in literature have investigated the gastric emptying of solids in elderly subjects. We assessed the differences between young and elderly subjects in the gastric emptying rate of solids by a radioisotopic method. Methods: Two groups of 15 elderly male subjects (mean age 68.20 years and 77.26 years, respectively) and a group of young male subjects (mean age 30.23 years) underwent a radioisotopic study of gastric emptying after eating a radiolabeled solid meal. Half-time of gastric emptying (T½) and emptying index (EI), i.e. rate of gastric emptying at 120 min, were measured with two opposing detectors connected to a computerized rate-meter. Results are expressed as means ± SD. Results: Significantly different values were obtained in the two groups both at T½ (183±88 and 195±75, respectively) and EI (0A0±0.3 and 0.36±0.4), compared with young subjects (T½=53±23; EI=1.10±0.3) (p<0.0001). Conclusions: Gastric emptying of solids is significantly delayed in elderly men; this variable must be taken into account when studies on gastric emptying rates are performed.