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11th June 2019 Equipment

Gamma camera to help gut health research

Portable Gamma Camera CRE

The Hospital Research Foundation is proud to contribute to the purchase of a portable gamma camera for the team at the Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Translating Nutritional Science to Good Health to aid research into the gut health of critically ill patients.

The gamma camera, to be located at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), is used to measure the rate of stomach emptying in humans and provide an insight into many gastric disorders.

Chief investigator Professor Karen Jones said the gamma camera was essential to advance the team’s clinical research and was grateful to The Hospital Research Foundation, University of Adelaide and Ian Potter Foundation for jointly funding the equipment.

“Disordered stomach emptying occurs frequently in many disease states, including diabetes and critical illness and is also a major determinant of the blood sugar response to meals,” Prof Jones said.

“While there are a number of methods used to access the rate of stomach emptying, scintigraphy (which employs radioactive isotopes to label meals that are imaged with a gamma camera) remains the gold standard.

“A portable, research-dedicated gamma camera was essential to conduct clinical research in critically ill patients and in studies involving ‘high-risk’ interventions such as lowering blood sugar levels.”

The research is being led by Prof Jones, Professor Marianne Chapman, Professor Michael Horowitz, Dr Lee-anne Chapple and Dr Chinmay Marathe. Current studies to be performed on the camera include:

  • The effect of standard versus energy dense feeds on gastric emptying and glucose metabolism in critically ill patients.
  • The effect of protein dose on clinical outcomes in critically ill patients (TARGET-Protein).
  • Acute hypoglycaemia and gastric emptying – ‘dose response’ and impact on oral drug absorption.
  • Do short acting glucagon-like receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) attenuate the ‘gastric’ counter-regulatory response to hypoglycaemia in type 2 diabetes?

The CRE is based at the Adelaide Biomed City Precinct, incorporating the Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences (AHMS) Building at the University of Adelaide, the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

Investigators in the CRE are world leaders in clinical research relating to gut function, endocrinology and nutritional science in health, as well as a number of patient populations including the critically ill and people with diabetes.

The camera will be located within the Department of Nuclear Medicine, PET and Bone Densitometry at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.