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MRI assessment of the postprandial gastrointestinal motility and peptide response in healthy humans

Khalaf, Asseel; Hoad, Caroline; Menys, Alex; Nowak, Adam; Taylor, Stuart A.; Paparo, Stephen; Lingaya, Melanie; Falcone, Yirga; Singh, Gulzar; Spiller, Robin C.; Gowland, Penny A.; Marciani, Luca; Moran, Gordon W.

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Asseel Khalaf

Senior Research Fellow

Alex Menys

Adam Nowak

Stuart A. Taylor

Stephen Paparo

Melanie Lingaya

Yirga Falcone

Gulzar Singh

Robin C. Spiller

Penny A. Gowland

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Professor of Gastrointestinal Imaging

Professor of Gastroenterology


Background: Feeding triggers inter-related gastrointestinal (GI) motor, peptide and appetite responses. These are rarely studied together due to methodological limitations. Recent MRI advances allow pan-intestinal, non-invasive assessment of motility in the undisturbed gut.
This study aimed to develop a methodology to assess pan-intestinal motility and transit in a single session using MRI and compare imaging findings to GI peptide responses to a test meal and symptoms in a healthy volunteer cohort.

Methods: Fifteen healthy volunteers (29.3±2.7years and BMI 20.1±1.2Kg/m2) underwent baseline and postprandial MRI scans, symptom questionnaires and blood sampling (for subsequent GI peptide analysis, Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), Polypeptide YY (PYY), Cholecystokinin (CCK)) at intervals for 270min following a 400g soup meal (204kcal, Heinz, UK). Gastric volume, gall bladder volume, small bowel water content, small bowel motility and whole gut transit were measured from the MRI scans.

Key Results: (mean±SEM) Small bowel motility index increased from fasting 39±3 arbitrary units (a.u.) to a maximum of 87±7a.u. immediately after feeding. PYY increased from fasting 98±10pg/ml to 149±14pg/ml at 30min and GLP-1 from fasting 15±3µg/ml to 22±4µg/ml. CCK increased from fasting 0.40±0.06pmol/ml to 0.94±0.1pmol/ml. Gastric volumes declined with a T1/2 of 46±5min and the gallbladder contracted from a fasting volume of 19±2ml to 12±2ml. Small bowel water content increased from 39±2ml to 51±2ml postprandial. Fullness VAS score increased from 9±5mm to 41±6mm at 30min postprandial.

Conclusions and Inferences: The test meal challenge was effective in inducing a change in MRI motility end-points which will improve understanding of the pathophysiological postprandial GI response.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 12, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 31, 2017
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 18, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 1, 2018
Journal Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Print ISSN 1350-1925
Electronic ISSN 1365-2982
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 1
Article Number e13182
Keywords Gastrointestinal motility; Gut peptides; MRI; Satiety; Bowel
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Khalaf A, Hoad CL, Menys A, et al. MRI assessment of the postprandial gastrointestinal motility and peptide response in healthy humans. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2017;e13182. which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.