Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 54, Issue 10, pp 2167–2174

Wireless Capsule Motility: Comparison of the SmartPill® GI Monitoring System with Scintigraphy for Measuring Whole Gut Transit

  • Sabba Maqbool
  • Henry P. Parkman
  • Frank K. Friedenberg
Original Article



Assessment of whole gut transit, by radio-opaque markers or scintigraphy, is used to evaluate patients with constipation for slow gastrointestinal transit. Wireless capsule motility, using the SmartPill® GI monitoring system, samples and transmits intraluminal pH, pressure, and temperature data from a capsule at regular intervals as it traverses through the gastrointestinal tract; from these, gastric emptying and whole gastrointestinal tract transit can be assessed. The objective of this study was to compare the SmartPill® with whole gut transit scintigraphy to determine whether the SmartPill system could serve as a test for measurement of whole gut motility and transit.


Ten healthy, asymptomatic subjects underwent simultaneous whole gut scintigraphy and SmartPill® assessment of whole gut transit.


All subjects completed the study per protocol and experienced natural passage of the pill. Capsule residence time in the stomach correlated very strongly with percent gastric retention of the Tc-99 radiolabel at 120 min (r = 0.95) and at 240 min (r = 0.73). Small bowel contraction-min−1 measured by the SmartPill correlated with small bowel transit % (r = 0.69; P = 0.05) and with isotopic colonic geometric center at 24 h after ingestion (r = 0.70, P = 0.024). Capsule transit time correlated with scintigraphic assessment of whole gut transit.


SmartPill® capsule assessment of gastric emptying and whole gut transit compares favorably with that of scintigraphy. Wireless capsule motility shows promise as a useful diagnostic test to evaluate patients for GI transit disorders and to study the effect of prokinetic agents on GI transit.


Wireless capsule motility GI transit Gastric emptying Colonic transit 



Total capsule transit time


Total time for isotope excretion




Whole gut transit scintigraphy

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabba Maqbool
    • 1
  • Henry P. Parkman
    • 1
  • Frank K. Friedenberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Gastroenterology Section, Department of Medicine, 8th Floor Parkinson PavilionTemple University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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