Colonic Transit Study (Sitz Marker Test)

This test uses tiny radio-opaque ‘markers’ to test how fast food is moving through the colon. It is most often used with patients who are suffering from chronic constipation.

Procedure

  • You will be provided with a capsule which contains 24 Sitz markers to swallow. This capsule contains small markers which will show up on x-ray and let the doctors track their progress through your colon.
  • You will need to be scheduled for an abdominal x-ray on certain day(s) after you swallow the Sitz markers to see if any of the markers are left in your colon. Please see more specific timing instructions by location under Preparation.
  • In general, if you have markers scattered throughout your colon on your x-ray, then you may have slow transit constipation.
  • If the markers have accumulated in your left colon, it may be a sign of outlet obstruction or pelvic floor dysfunction.

Preparation

  • DO NOT take laxatives, enemas, or suppositories during the week this test is in progress.
  • You may eat and drink as usual.
  • We will need to have you come in for an abdominal x-ray a specific number of days after you swallow the Sitz markers depending on your location, per the following instructions.
  • At Henry Ford Hospital and Henry Ford West Bloomfield, you will need an x-ray in exactly 5 full days after you swallow the Sitz Markers. Do not swallow the Sitz Markers on Tuesday or Wednesday because most x-ray centers are closed on the weekend when you would need your x-ray done. If you swallow the capsule on:
    • Monday, you need an x-ray on Friday
    • Thursday, you need an x-ray on Monday
    • Friday, you need an x-ray on Tuesday
    • Saturday, you need an x-ray on Wednesday
    • Sunday, you need an x-ray on Thursday
  • At Henry Ford Macomb, you will need an x-ray on the day you swallow the Sitz Markers, as well as days 2 and 5. If you swallow the capsule on:
    • Monday, you need an x-ray that day, Tuesday, and Friday
    • Tuesday, you need an x-ray that day, Wednesday, and Saturday
    • Wednesday, you need an x-ray that day, Thursday, and Sunday
    • Thursday, you need an x-ray that day, Friday, and Monday
    • Friday, you need an x-ray that day, Saturday, and Tuesday
    • Saturday, you need an x-ray that day, Sunday, and Wednesday
    • Sunday, you need an x-ray that day, Monday, and Thursday
  • At Henry Ford Wyandotte, you will need an x-ray on day 6 after swallowing the Sitz Markers. The best days to swallow the capsule are Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Depending on the results there may be additional testing needed. If you swallow the capsule on:
    • Wednesday, you need an x-ray on Monday
    • Thursday, you need an x-ray on Tuesday
    • Friday, you need an x-ray on Wednesday
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