• gastric emptying;
  • scintigraphy;
  • cat;
  • BIPS(r);
  • radiopaque markers

Gastric emptying in 18 healthy cats was assessed simultaneously using scintigraphy and barium-impregnated polyethylene spheres (BIPS®). Canned Prescription Diet(r) Feline c/d(r) (Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc., Topeka, KS) labeled with 99mTc-disofenin (Hepatolite, DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Co., Billerica, Mass.) was fed on four separate days, Scintigraphic images were obtained at time 0 and then every 30 minutes to 6 hours. On the fourth scan day, 30 small (1.5 mm) and 10 large (5 mm) BIPS® (Chemstock Animal Health Ltd., Christchnrch, New Zealand) were mixed with the labeled meal, and in addition to scintigraphy, radiographs were made at 60-minute intervals for 6 hours. Gastric emptying was 11 to 15% slower on the day of simultaneous radiography as compared with the 3 days when only scintigraphy was performed (p≤ .05). Percentage retention of 1.5 mm BIPS® in the stomach was significantly greater than the percentage retained gastric activity at hours 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (p≤ .05).BIPS® were clustered in the pyloric region of the stomach by 3 hours in all cats. In 10/18 animals, all BIPS® were retained in pyloric region of the stomach at 6 hours, despite observable decreased size of the gastric silhouette and ≤15% retained gastric activity. In conclusion, gastric emptying of 1.5-mm BIPS® does not parallel gastric emptying of 99mTc-disofenin labeled canned Prescription Diet(r) Feline c/d(r). Stress associated with radiography may delay gastric emptying. Diet type should be considered when evaluating clinical radiographic studies where BIPS® have been used.