13C-octanoic acid breath test (OBT) with a new test meal (EXPIROGer®): Toward standardization for testing gastric emptying of solids

Francesco Perri, Massimo Bellini, Piero Portincasa, Andrea Parodi, Patrizia Bonazzi, Leonardo Marzio, Francesca Galeazzi, Paolo Usai, Attilio Citrino, Paolo Usai-Satta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Standardization of the 13C-octanoic acid breath test is still lacking. Aim: To evaluate the accuracy of the 13C-octanoic acid breath test using a new standardized ready-to-eat, gluten-, glucose-, and lactose-free muffin. Methods: Healthy subjects were recruited and sorted by sex and age. Patients with diabetic gastroparesis and untreated celiac disease with known gastric motility disorders were also tested with the new labelled muffin. Expired breath 13CO2 was analysed and t1/2 was calculated. Results: Overall, 131 healthy subjects were enrolled. The reference range of t1/2 was 88±29min with the value of 146min as the upper limit of normal range. No significant difference in t1/2 was found among subjects sorted by sex or age. The within-subject variability of t1/2 was 17%. Mean (±standard deviation) t1/2 values were 179±50min in patients with diabetic gastroparesis (n=8) and 151±20min in those with untreated celiac disease (n=11) (p≤0.001 vs controls). Conclusions: A new standardized test meal simplifies the execution of the 13C-octanoic acid breath test, is not influenced by sex or age, has low intra-individual variability, is palatable, does not cause side effects, and is able to evaluate gastric emptying in both patients and healthy controls. Moreover, it can be used in subjects with lactose intolerance, diabetes, and celiac disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-553
Number of pages5
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Dyspepsia
  • Gastric emptying
  • Motility disorders
  • Octanoic acid breath test
  • Stable isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology
  • Medicine(all)


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