Cairn Gastric Emptying Breath Test
Cairn GEBT: A clear path to diagnosis of gastroparesis
The Cairn 13C-Spirulina Gastric Emptying Breath Test (GEBT) is a non-radioactive, non-invasive, orally administered test for measuring the rate of gastric emptying in adults. Validated against the gold standard reference method of gastric scintigraphy, the Cairn GEBT enables rapid and accurate identification of gastroparesis.
The test can be administered right in the physician’s office and does not require imaging equipment, specialized training or radioactive material. Results are easy to interpret, enabling diagnosis of gastroparesis without the need for expensive, time-consuming referrals.
Cairn GEBT: A faster, more direct path to a definitive diagnosis of gastroparesis
The test is conducted over a four-hour evaluation period after an eight-hour fast and is designed to show how rapidly the stomach empties solids by measuring carbon dioxide in a patient’s breath. Pre-meal breath samples are collected at the start of the test. Patients then eat a special test meal. After consuming the meal, additional breath samples are collected at specified times. The special meal includes a precisely formulated scrambled egg mix containing pharmaceutical-grade Spirulina, a safe, nutritional blue green algae that, during manufacturing, has been enriched with carbon-13. Once the test meal is consumed, the carbon-13 in the Cairn GEBT test meal gives rise to carbon-13 labeled CO2, or 13CO2, which can be measured in the patient’s breath samples.
Carbon-13 is a naturally existing, safe, non-radioactive form of the common element carbon. Both carbon-12 (naturally abundant in 99% of carbon) and a very small amount of carbon-13 are normally found in exhaled carbon dioxide. By adding carbon-13 to the test meal, the Cairn GEBT can determine how fast the stomach empties the meal by measuring the rate of 13CO2 excretion arising from the digested test meal. The rate of 13CO2 excretion found in the patient’s breath is proportional to the patient’s rate of gastric emptying. The patient’s 13CO2 excretion rate at each breath collection time is reported using the GEBT metric “kPCD.” The “k” is a multiplier of 1000 and “PCD” is an acronym for percent carbon-13 dose excreted (as 13CO2).