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Magnet tracking allows assessment of regional gastrointestinal transit times in children

Authors Hedsund C, Moeller Joensson I, Gregersen T, Fynne L, Schlageter V, Krogh K

Received 11 July 2013

Accepted for publication 27 August 2013

Published 19 November 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 201—208


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Caroline Hedsund,1,2 Iben Moeller Joensson,2 Tine Gregersen,1 Lotte Fynne,1 Vincent Schlageter,3 Klaus Krogh1

1Neurogastroenterology Unit, Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology, 2Department of Pediatrics, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark; 3Motilis Medica SA, Lausanne, Switzerland

Background: Data on small intestinal transit time in healthy children are lacking, and normal values for gastric emptying and colonic transit time are sparse. Conventional methods, including radiopaque markers, scintigraphy, and PillCam™ involve radiation or require the child to swallow a large pill. The minimally invasive, radiation-free Motility Tracking System-1 (MTS-1) has been introduced for description of gastrointestinal motility in adults. The aim of the study was to evaluate the MTS-1 for assessment of gastrointestinal transit times and motility patterns in healthy children.
Methods: Twenty-one healthy children (nine girls), median age 10 (range 7–12) years were included. For evaluation with MTS-1, a small magnetic pill was ingested and tracked through the gastrointestinal tract by a matrix of 16 magnetic sensors placed behind a nonmagnetic bed. The children were investigated for 8 hours after swallowing the magnetic pill and again for 4 hours the following morning. After leaving the unit, each child came back after every bowel movement to determine if the pill had been expelled.
Results: Nineteen children could swallow the pill. Characteristic contraction patterns were identified for the stomach (three per minute), small intestine (9–11 per minute), and colon (4–5 per minute). Median total gastrointestinal transit time was 37.7 (range 9.5–95.8) hours, median gastric emptying time was 37 (range 2–142) minutes, median small intestinal transit time was 302 (range 164 to >454) minutes, and median colorectal transit time was 38.1 (range 5.6–90.0) hours.
Conclusion: MTS-1 allows minimally invasive evaluation of gastrointestinal motility in children. Use of the method is, however, restricted by the nonambulatory setup.

Keywords: gastrointestinal motility, gastrointestinal transit time, healthy children, motility tracking system

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