An intro-duodenal motility study evaluates motility disorders – abnormal contractions of the muscles of the stomach and the small intestine.
It is used in people with symptoms and signs of obstruction to the flow of food through the stomach and intestines which are: vomiting, nausea and intestinal distention (enlargement). Also, diabetes mellitus can be the cause of motility disorders.
During the study, a tube one-eighth inch in diameter is passed through the nose, down the esophagus, through the stomach and into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.
In the tube are sensors which measure the amount of pressure generated when the muscles of the stomach and intestine contract and squeeze tightly around the tube so if contractions are greater, the pressure measured by the tube is also greater. Contractions are recorded by a computer for analysis at rest for up to several hours and one or two hours after a meal.
The results of an intro-duodenal motility study are evaluated by characteristic patterns of contraction of the stomach and duodenum during fasting periods and after meals.
If the patient’s results are abnormal, the patient can be treated with drugs to stimulate contraction, such as metoclopramide (Reglan).
There are no side effects to the study. The patient can have a sore throat and nasal irritation because of the tube but this disappears 24 hours after the tube is removed.
Alternatives to an intro-duodenal motility study are upper gastrointestinal X-rays, gastric emptying studies, electrogastrograms and most recently a radiotelemetry capsule (Smartpill) which is swallowed and then travels through the stomach and intestines records pressure and transmits the information’s wirelessly to a receiver worn on the outside of the body and after the information’s are downloaded from receiver for analysis.