Novel method to assess gastric emptying in humans: The Pellet Gastric Emptying Test

Sally Y. Choe, Brien L. Neudeck, Lynda S. Welage, Gregory E. Amidon, Jeffrey L. Barnett, Gordon L. Amidon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


To further validate the Pellet Gastric Emptying Test (PGET) as a marker of gastric emptying, a randomized, four-way crossover study was conducted with 12 healthy subjects. The study consisted of oral co-administration of enteric coated caffeine (CAFF) and acetaminophen (APAP) pellets in four treatment phases: Same Size (100 kcal), Fasted, Small Liquid Meal (100 kcal), and Standard Meal (847 kcal). The time of first appearance of measurable drug marker in plasma, tinitial, was taken as the emptying time for the markers. Co-administration of same size enteric coated pellets of CAFF and APAP (0.7 mm in diameter) revealed no statistically significant differences in tinitial values indicating that emptying was dependent only on size and not on chemical make-up of the pellets. Co-administration of different size pellets indicated that the smaller 0.7-mm diameter (CAFF) pellets were emptied and absorbed significantly earlier than the larger 3.6-mm diameter (APAP) pellets with both the Small Liquid Meal (by 35 min) and the Standard Meal (by 33 min) (P<0.05). The differences in emptying of the pellets were not significant in the Fasted Phase. The results suggest that the pellet gastric emptying test could prove useful in monitoring changes in transit times in the fasted and fed states and their impact on drug absorption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NASA Grant NAG5-3874 and the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC), University of Michigan, funded by a Grant (M01 RR00042) from the National Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health, US PHS. The authors would like to thank the Pharmacia Company for its generous donation of resources and materials in the manufacture of the pellets. We thank the nurses at the General Clinic Research Center at the University of Michigan Medical Center for their support and assistance in this study.


  • Acetaminophen
  • Caffeine
  • Gastric emptying
  • Size


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