Journal of Nuclear Medicine vol:40 issue:9 pages:1451-5
The breath test using oral administration of a 13C-labeled substrate, lactose-ureide (LU), to measure orocecal transit time (OCTT) was validated against 99mTc-scintigraphy. Although LU is not absorbed in the human small intestine, colonic bacteria readily metabolize LU, producing 13C-labeled CO2. The time at which 13CO2 appears in breath corresponds to the OCTT. METHODS: Twenty-two healthy volunteers ingested a meal labeled with 99mTc and 13C-LU. Scintigraphy was performed over 8 h at time intervals of 10 or 15 min. OCTT with scintigraphy was defined as the time at which at least 10% of the label had entered the colon. Breath samples were obtained every 10-15 min for 10 h and measured by isotope ratio mass spectrometry. OCTT was defined as the time of first significant increase above baseline. The results were compared using correlation and Altman-Bland statistics. RESULTS: OCTT results from scintigraphy (mean OCTT = 283+/-53 min) and breath test (mean OCTT = 292+/-58 min) correlated well (r = 0.94). Altman-Bland statistics showed close agreement between scintigraphy and breath test. No significant difference between male and female subjects was observed. CONCLUSION: The breath test using 13C-LU is a valid alternative to scintigraphy techniques for measuring OCTT.