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Measurement of gastric meal and secretion volumes using magnetic resonance imaging

Hoad, C.L.; Parker, H.; Hudders, N.; Costigan, C.; Cox, E.F.; Perkins, A.C.; Blackshaw, P.E.; Marciani, L.; Spiller, R.C.; Fox, M.R.; Gowland, P.A.


Senior Research Fellow

H. Parker

N. Hudders

C. Costigan

Senior Research Fellow

A.C. Perkins

P.E. Blackshaw

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Professor of Gastrointestinal Imaging

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Professor of Gastroenterology

M.R. Fox


MRI can assess multiple gastric functions without ionizing radiation. However, time consuming image acquisition and analysis of gastric volume data, plus confounding of gastric emptying measurements by gastric secretions mixed with the test meal have limited its use to research centres. This study presents an MRI acquisition protocol and analysis algorithm suitable for the clinical measurement of gastric volume and secretion volume. Reproducibility of gastric volume measurements was assessed using data from 10 healthy volunteers following a liquid test meal with rapid MRI acquisition within one breath-hold and semi-automated analysis. Dilution of the ingested meal with gastric secretion was estimated using a respiratory-triggered T1 mapping protocol. Accuracy of the secretion volume measurements was assessed using data from 24 healthy volunteers following a mixed (liquid/solid) test meal with MRI meal volumes compared to data acquired using gamma scintigraphy (GS) on the same subjects studied on a separate study day. The mean ± SD coefficient of variance between 3 observers for both total gastric contents (including meal, secretions and air) and just the gastric contents (meal and secretion only) was 3  ±  2% at large gastric volumes (>200 ml). Mean ± SD secretion volumes post meal ingestion were 64  ±  51 ml and 110  ±  40 ml at 15 and 75 min, respectively. Comparison with GS meal volumes, showed that MRI meal only volume (after correction for secretion volume) were similar to GS, with a linear regression gradient ± std err of 1.06  ±  0.10 and intercept −11  ±  24 ml. In conclusion, (i) rapid volume acquisition and respiratory triggered T1 mapping removed the requirement to image during prolonged breath-holds (ii) semi-automatic analysis greatly reduced the time required to derive measurements and (iii) correction for secretion volumes provided accurate assessment of gastric meal volumes and emptying. Together these features provide the scientific basis of a protocol which would be suitable in clinical practice.


Hoad, C., Parker, H., Hudders, N., Costigan, C., Cox, E., Perkins, A., …Gowland, P. (2015). Measurement of gastric meal and secretion volumes using magnetic resonance imaging. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 60(3), 1367-1383.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 21, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 16, 2015
Publication Date Feb 7, 2015
Deposit Date Dec 13, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 11, 2019
Journal Physics in Medicine and Biology
Print ISSN 0031-9155
Electronic ISSN 1361-6560
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 60
Issue 3
Pages 1367-1383
Public URL
Publisher URL


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