Scintigraphic methods for performing gastric emptying and colon transit studies are now well standardized. Although not as well established, several methods have been proposed for measuring small-bowel transit. The measurement of orocecal transit time appears to be a practical scintigraphic measurement of small-bowel transit. When combined into a single test of gastric emptying, small-bowel, and colon transit, whole-gut transit scintigraphy is an important, noninvasive tool for documenting dysmotility of any segment of the gastrointestinal tract. Despite attempts to simplify the study, whole-gut transit scintigraphy still requires a significant commitment of time and equipment. As with other gastrointestinal studies, each laboratory must determine which protocol best fits its clinical needs, equipment, and staffing. Attention must be paid to adhere to established protocols, or normal values will need to be determined for each laboratory. Despite these difficulties, whole-gut transit scintigraphy now represents an important clinical tool for the evaluation of patients with a wide range of abdominal complaints.
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