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Evaluation of a novel motility capsule for gastric emptying in a porcine model of acute lung injury


The aim of this study was to evaluate a novel wireless motility capsule for gastric emptying in a large animal model of acute lung injury.


All experimental procedures were approved by the Laboratory Animal Care and Use Committee of the District of Unterfranken, Germany and adhere to the NIH guidelines for ethical animal research. In seven anesthesized pigs, ventilated with high-frequency oscillation, a pH, pressure and temperature sensing capsule (SmartPill™; SmartPill Corp., Buffalo, NY, USA) was positioned with a capsule delivery device (AdvanCE™; US Endoscopy, Mentor, OH, USA) into the stomach. The capsule data were transmitted to a recorder attached to the abdomen. Gastric emptying of the capsule can be calculated by measuring the time required for the pH to the change from the acidic stomach to the alkaline duodenum as well as a change in pressure patterns. The location of the capsule was confirmed by autopsy after the animals had died due to the ARDS.


In total 8,640 datasets were obtained. The capsule pressure recordings ranged from 2 to 4 mmHg (2.6 ± 0.5 mmHg (mean ± SD)) and pH ranged from 2.3 to 5.6 (3.7 ± 1.6 (mean ± SD)). There was no change in pressure patterns or pH recordings greater than 6 during 24 hours. All animals had a gastroparesis with bloated stomach. All capsules were located in the stomach as indicated by the pressure and pH data and confirmed by autopsy.


The preliminary data show that motility capsule technology has considerable potential for evaluating real-time gastric emptying.

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Correspondence to S Rauch.

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Rauch, S., Muellenbach, R., Johannes, A. et al. Evaluation of a novel motility capsule for gastric emptying in a porcine model of acute lung injury. Crit Care 14, P548 (2010).

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  • Gastric Emptying
  • Acute Lung Injury
  • Gastroparesis
  • Porcine Model
  • Delivery Device