ABSTRACT: In contrast to the well-developed methods for morphological diagnosis of the gastrointestinal tract, there is no comparatively satisfying technique for functional disorders. One important example is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a disorder that affects a high percentage of all individuals. It can only be diagnosed by excluding organic diseases and by considering symptom criteria. In this case, the examination of the motility of the bowel may be a promising way to differentiate between the two major mechanisms of IBS: increased sensitivity of the intestine and altered gastrointestinal motility. To this aim, a recently developed method for monitoring magnetic markers in the gastrointestinal tract was utilized that works without the use of ionizing radiation. We give a short description of this method, showing a spatial resolution of 3-4 mm and a temporal resolution of 330 ms, and report on examples of the first in vivo experiments. Typical monitoring results are shown for the esophagus, the stomach, and the duodenum. The motility behavior is described for the lower parts of the gut as well. The advantages and drawbacks of this type of magnetic marker monitoring are discussed with special consideration of the noninvasive examination of the motility in different sections of the gut.
Medical Physics 10/2005; 32(9):2942-4. · 2.83 Impact Factor