13C-Spirulina Gastric Emptying Breath Test (GEBT)
While the Cairn GEBT is simple to administer in any clinical setting, the test meal has been manufactured under highly-controlled drug manufacturing procedures and patient breath samples are analyzed using sophisticated gas isotope ratio mass spectrometry, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, validated analytical system.
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. The rate of 13CO2 excretion is proportional to the rate of gastric emptying.