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To use nuclear scintigraphy to establish a range of gastric emptying half times (t1/2) following a liquid or solid meal in nonsedated cats.


12 clinically normal 3-year-old domestic shorthair cats.


A test meal of 75 g of scrambled eggs labeled with technetium Tc 99m tin colloid was fed to 10 of the cats, and solid-phase gastric emptying t1/2 were determined by use of nuclear scintigraphy. In a separate experiment, 8 of these cats plus an additional 2 cats were fed 18 ml (n = 5) or 36 ml (n = 5) of a nutrient liquid meal labeled with technetium Tc 99m pentetate. Liquid-phase gastric emptying t1/2 then were determined by use of scintigraphy.


Solid-phase gastric emptying t1/2 were between 210 and 769 minutes (median, 330 minutes). Median liquid-phase gastric emptying t1/2 after ingestion of 18 or 36 ml of the test meal were 67 minutes (range, 60 to 96 minutes) and 117 minutes (range, 101 to 170 minutes), respectively. The median t1/2 determined for cats receiving 18 ml of the radiolabeled liquid was significantly less than that determined for cats receiving 36 ml of the test meal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

The protocol was tolerated by nonsedated cats. Solid-phase gastric emptying t1/2 were prolonged, compared with liquid-phase t1/2, and a major factor governing the emptying rate of liquids was the volume consumed. Nuclear scintigraphy may prove useful in assessing gastric motility disorders in cats. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1222–1226)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research