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July 1986

Radionuclide Esophageal Transit: A Screening Test for Esophageal Disorders

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1986;121(7):843-848. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1986.01400070113024

• Radionuclide esophageal transit (RET) is a noninvasive method of studying esophageal function. The purpose of this study was to evaluate RET as a screening test for motility disorders in symptomatic patients. Esophageal manometry and RET were performed in 16 volunteers and in 34 patients who were referred for motility evaluation. Each RET study consisted of two swallows of labeled water with the patient in the supine position under a gamma camera. Six patients had achalasia, two had scleroderma, two had diffuse esophageal spasms, and five had a nonspecific motor disorder. In each case the RET time was prolonged (>15 s). Ten patients had reflux esophagitis; two of these had both abnormal manometry results and prolonged RET times. There were nine patients with upper gastrointestinal tract symptoms but normal manometry results and the RET test was positive in two patients. There were no false-negative RET results. The agreement between the RET and manometry results in this series was 96% (48/50). This preliminary experience suggests that RET is as sensitive as manometry for identifying motility disorders.

(Arch Surg 1986;121:843-848)

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