Esophageal scintigraphy with a semisolid meal to evaluate esophageal dysmotility in systemic sclerosis and Raynaud's phenomenon

Alberto Bestetti, Federica Carola, Luisa Conciato, Bianca Marasini, Gian Luigi Tarolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Esophageal transit scintigraphy seems to be a valid methodology to assess impaired esophageal motility in early stages of disease. The purpose of this study was to discriminate patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) from healthy subjects by esophageal scintigraphy with a semisolid meal. Methods: We studied 32 patients with primary RP, 18 with SSc and 13 healthy subjects. Dysphagia, acid regurgitation and heartburn were scored. After an overnight fast, all subjects underwent esophageal scintigraphy, using a semisolid orally ingested bolus (10 mL apple puree) labeled with 99mTc-sulfur colloid. Esophageal transit and emptying time and integral value were evaluated with the subjects in the upright (sitting) and supine positions. Transit time was defined as the time from the entry of 50% of radioactivity into the upper esophagus until the clearance of 50% of the bolus from the whole esophagus. Emptying time was defined as the time from the entry of 50% of radioactivity into the upper esophagus, until the clearance of 100% of the bolus from the whole esophagus. Integral value was defined as the total counts under the time- activity curve normalized to the maximum Results: Esophageal transit and emptying time and integral value, evaluated in both positions, were significantly higher in patients with SSc than in healthy subjects and than in patients with RP. Moreover, patients with RP had all three parameters, assessed in supine position, significantly longer compared to healthy subjects. Clinical scores regarding dysphagia, acid regurgitation and heartburn were not significantly different between patients with RP and SSc. Conclusion: Esophageal transit and emptying time and integral value appear to be able to discriminate patients with primary RP from patients with SSc and patients with RP from healthy subjects, suggesting an early mild esophageal dysfunction in RP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Volume40
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

Keywords

  • Esophageal motility
  • Esophageal scintigraphy
  • Raynaud's phenomenon
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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