• magnetic resonance imaging;
  • markers;
  • gastric emptying


Current MR meal markers may interfere with gastric motility and secretion restricting the use of MRI in the measurement of gastric physiology. We therefore evaluated Gd-DOTA as a liquid phase marker, in vitro by determining dissociation, and adherence to the solids, and in vivo by simultaneous MRI (0.35 T scanner, multiple T1-weighted sections of the upper abdomen) and double indicator (perfusion marker PEG 4000, meal marker 99mTc-DTPA) measurements of emptying and secretion, following ingestion of 500 ml 10% glucose. In vitro Gd-DOTA was stable at a pH > 2 with < 2% dissociation at 24 h during incubation with HCI. Dissociation during incubation with HCI was linearly dependent on H+ concentration (0.77 < pH < 2.02). Less Gd-DOTA was absorbed onto the solid phase than 99mTc-DTPA (25% cf 36%). in vivo Gd-DOTA marked gastric contents provided strong positive contrast. Similar emptying curves were observed with both MRI and double-indicator techniques (r = 0.987, P < 0.001). Gd-DOTA has the potential to be a useful liquid phase contrast agent in MR studies on gastric function.