Gastric Emptying Study

This exam demonstrates the time it takes for solid food to empty from the stomach.


  • You will have nothing by mouth for 6 hours prior to the scan.
  • Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment with an order/prescription if your doctor has given one to you.
  • There should be at least 48 hours between a barium study (barium enema, upper GI) and a gastric emptying study.
  • You should discontinue medication which affects gastric motility for at least 24 hours (e.g. Metoclopromide, Cisapride, Reglan, Imodium, Pro-Banthine, Lomotil).
  • Do not take any pain medication/opiates for 48 hours (e.g. Morphine, Dilaudid, Tylenol 3).
  • A number of medications may affect the result of your test. Please let your doctor know of any medications to ensure they would not interfere with the test.
  • Diabetics should be scheduled for an early morning study and generally take ½ dose of their usual morning insulin dose, followed by the radioactive meal.
  • Patients on oral hypoglycemics should be instructed to take their usual morning dose of hypoglycemic medication shortly before the radioactive meal.


  • You will be given Egg Beaters mixed with a small amount of radioactive material.
  • A nuclear medicine technologist will then begin the scan which will require you to lie completely still on a stretcher under the camera for multiple images up to four hours (with breaks between images).

After the procedure

  • You will follow up with ordering doctor.


  • Tell the technologist about any medications you take.
  • Be aware this test could take up to 4 hours.
  • If your order is for a SOLID AND LIQUID phase, it will require two appointments at least two days apart. The liquid phase substitutes a liquid for the egg and takes only an hour. The two studies may be done in any order.
  • If you are pregnant or suspect you may be, contact your referring doctor.
  • Tell the technologist if you are planning to travel out of the country.
  • If you are also having a study with Barium (Barium Swallow, Barium Enema, Esophagram, Small Bowel Series, Upper and Lower GI Series), you must wait at least 48 hours after the Barium study before your Gastric Empty can be performed.
  • For Macomb patients: Please note that our Nuclear Medicine equipment has a table weight limit of 500 lbs.
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