Antro-duodenal Motility Study

  • Medical Author:
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

woman with abdominal pain

What is an antro-duodenal motility study?

  • An antro-duodenal motility study is used to evaluate the ability of the muscles of the stomach and the first portion of the small intestine (duodenum) to contract.
  • Conditions in which there is abnormal contraction of the muscles of the stomach and the small intestine are referred to as motility disorders.
  • Therefore, an antro-duodenal motility study is used to identify motility disorders.

When is an antro-duodenal motility study used?

An antro-duodenal motility study is used to diagnose a motility disorder of the stomach or small intestine, that is, a condition of abnormal function of the muscles of the stomach and/or small intestine. Such abnormal function usually is suspected when there are symptoms and signs of obstruction to or delayed flow of food through the stomach and intestines. These symptoms usually are nausea, vomiting, and intestinal distention (enlargement). The obstruction is a direct result of the inability of the abnormally functioning muscles to propel food through the stomach and intestines. One common cause of motility disorders of the stomach and intestines is diabetes mellitus.

How is an antro-duodenal motility study done?

  • For an antro-duodenal motility study, a thin 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.
  • Sensors in the tube measure the amount of pressure generated when the muscles of the stomach and intestine contract and squeeze tightly around the tube; the greater the contraction of the muscles, the greater the pressure sensed by the tube.
  • All contractions are recorded by a computer for analysis.
  • Contractions are recorded at rest for up to several hours and for one or two hours after a meal. Thus, a study may take up to six hours.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/13/2016

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