Quantification of gastric emptying with magnetic resonance imaging in healthy volunteers: A systematic review

Davide Bertoli, Emily Steinkohl, Esben Bolvig Mark, Christina Brock, Asbjørn Mohr Drewes, Jens Brøndum Frøkjær*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Several magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocols have been used to assess gastric emptying (GE) with MRI. This systematic review summarizes the current literature on the topic. The aim was to provide an overview of the available imaging protocols and underline the items that appear most agreed upon and those that deserve further investigation.

METHODS: According to PRISMA guidelines, two independent reviewers conducted a systematic literature search with a pre-specified strategy in different databases. Peer-reviewed articles that utilized MRI techniques to assess GE in healthy volunteers (HVs) were included. The quality and the outcomes of the studies were reported and analyzed.

KEY RESULTS: The literature search yielded 30 studies (531 HVs, weighted mean age 27.4, weighted mean body mass index 23.0 kg/m2 ), T2-weighted sequences, balanced turbo field echo, and balanced gradient echo were evenly utilized, with volunteers in the supine position (74% of the studies). After overnight fasting, both liquid (56%) and mixed (44%) meals were equally utilized. Segmentation of the volumes was predominantly performed manually (63%) with a reported mean T50 ranging from 7 to 330 min.

CONCLUSIONS & INFERENCES: As observed in this systematic review, MRI is a flexible tool for assessing GE. Different protocols were analyzed, showing an equal capacity to assess the GE. However, many items in these protocols still require further investigation to obtain a common standard and increase this assessment quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14371
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Authors. Neurogastroenterology & Motility published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • gastric emptying
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • quality improvement
  • stomach
  • systematic review


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