Performance of the [13C]-acetate gastric emptying breath test during physical exercise

M.A. van Nieuwenhoven, A.J.M. Wagenmakers, J.M.G. Senden, F.J.P.H. Brouns, R.J.M. Brummer

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Maastricht University, the Netherlands. M.

BACKGROUND: The gastric emptying rate of liquids can be determined non-invasively using the [13C]-acetate breath test at rest. The aims of our study were to validate this test during physical exercise against the double-sampling method and to evaluate the time needed for intestinal absorption and the delay between absorption and appearance of 13CO2 in breath, both at rest and during exercise. DESIGN: Fifteen well-trained male subjects were investigated. Gastric emptying was determined simultaneously measuring the 13CO2 breath enrichment after intragastric administration of 0.5 L of carbohydrate solution with 150 mg of [13C]-acetate added and by the double-sampling technique (n = 9). In separate tests, 150 mg of [13C]-acetate was also applied intraduodenally and intravenously (n = 6), both at rest and during exercise. Time-to-peak (TTP) 13CO2 enrichment was determined using a curve fit and was considered as the parameter for gastric emptying. RESULTS: TTP enrichment derived from the breath test significantly correlated with the gastric emptying half-time obtained from the gastric aspirates. During exercise, median TTP enrichment values after intragastric, intraduodenal (i.d.) and intravenous (i.v.) administration of [13C]-acetate were 22.3, 10.3 and 5.4 min respectively. During exercise, i.d. and i.v. values were reached significantly earlier than at rest. CONCLUSION: The [13C]-acetate breath test can be used as a non-invasive method to determine relative gastric emptying rates of liquids during exercise, but the results are influenced by the rate of absorption and the time needed for subsequent oxidation of [13C]-acetate and exhalation of 13CO2.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922-928
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

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