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Gastric Emptying Study- Solid

A Gastric Solid Emptying Study observes how fast food goes through the stomach into the small bowels.


Your child will be required to fast (no food or drink) for 4-6 hours depending on their age before the study. This includes ALL solids and liquids. Your child’s doctor will determine if your child’s medication needs to be stopped for this study. If needed, medications should be stopped 2 days before the test.

Any laxatives or stool softeners should stop 1 day before the test. Other test which involved contrast to drink, for example a Barium swallow study, should not be performed within 3 days of this study

This study will take up to 4.5 hours to complete.  A parent or guardian may always stay with the child.  Siblings are not allowed in the room during the test.  Eating and drinking are not allowed in the room. 

What to expect

Your child will be asked to eat a scrambled egg white sandwich with 2 slices of toasted white bread and strawberry jam. A very small amount of a radioactive medicine is added to the egg white.  This medicine will not change the tasteof the egg whites and will allow us to see how fast food is moving through the stomach and into the small bowels. The medicine will not make your child feel unwell. Your child will be given 10 minutes to finish the sandwich with a little sip of water.

We will begin taking pictures once your child finishes the sandwich. Your child will lie down on a narrow bed and a seat belt will go across their body for safety and to help them stay still for the pictures taken with a special camera.  Your child should not feel any discomfort during the scan and can choose to be distracted (for example, watch a movie).  

There are 5 sets of pictures (about 5 minutes each) that will be taken at specific times.  You and your child can leave the department between pictures and return at specific times. Please return at the specified time because each picture is time sensitive for this test.  Your child will continue to fast (no food or drink) until the entire study is done.

Post test

Your child may resume eating and drinking and resume any medications that may have been stopped.

The scan results are given by a doctor specialized in Nuclear Medicine and not by the technologist doing the test.  A report is sent to your doctor’s office, usually within 2-3 business days. 

Please call the Nuclear Medicine Department at 416-813-6065 if you have any questions about the procedure or if you need to change the appointment.

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