The clinical investigator

, Volume 71, Issue 7, pp 542–546 | Cite as

Gastric emptying of solids and liquids in obesity

  • B. Glasbrenner
  • O. Pieramico
  • D. Brecht-Krau\
  • M. Baur
  • P. Malfertheiner
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to determine whether obese patients have different rates of solid and liquid gastric emptying compared to healthy controls. Twenty-four obese patients (7 males, 17 females) were investigated prior to dietary restriction. The patients had a weight excess above ideal weight ranging from 25% to 216% (mean weight 118.1 ± 6.5 kg). The control group consisted of 8 healthy subjects (4 males, 4 females), within 10% of the ideal weight. The solid phase of the test meal consisted of 40 g bread, 30 g ham, 10 g margarine, and two scrambled eggs labeled with 99mTc. For the liquid phase, 200 ml orange juice was labeled with 201Tl. Three-minute counts of both tracers were taken for 106 min using a large field-of-view gamma camera. In obese patients, a significantly shortened lag phase for the emptying of solids was observed (27.0 ± 3.3 versus 38.4 ± 4.1 min; P < 0.05). Half-emptying time (105.9 ± 6.7 versus 100.7 ± 5.7 min), emptying rate (0.60 ± 0.04 versus 0.71 ± 0.07%/min), and total emptying of solids (49.4 ± 3.6 versus 50.5 ± 5.0%) were not different from controls. Obese subjects had a trend to slowed liquid emptying (half-time 82.7 ± 4.8 versus 69.9 ± 6.9 min; emptying rate 0.59 ± 0.03 versus 0.65 ± 0.03%/min; total emptying 59.8 ± 2.9 versus 66.0 ± 3.3 %), but this was not statistically significant. There was no correlation between weight or body surface area and rate of solid or liquid gastric emptying. It is concluded that no relevant disturbance in gastric emptying is related to the pathogenesis of obesity.

Key words

Gastric emptying Mixed solid-liquid meal Obesity 



diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid


macroaggregated albumin


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Glasbrenner
    • 1
  • O. Pieramico
    • 1
  • D. Brecht-Krau\
    • 2
  • M. Baur
    • 1
  • P. Malfertheiner
    • 1
  1. 1.Abteilung Innere Medizin 1Universität UlmGermany
  2. 2.Abteilung NuklearmedizinUniversitat UlmGermany

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