Indications for the Gastro-Acet Breath Test

Gastro-Acet is a 13C sodium acetate breath test to measure the rate at which liquid stomach contents enter the small intestine. Stomach motility is affected by a number of clinical conditions, including diabetes, non-ulcer dyspepsia, GERD and some post-operative conditions. Recent developments of drugs that affect gastric motility have led to renewed interest in this topic.

The reliability of the 13C sodium acetate breath test in clinical research and as a routine test is currently being investigated by INFAI. The test is made available for clinical research, and INFAI welcomes inquiries from researchers and physicians interested in using the test.

Principle and protocol for Gastro-Acet


Orally ingested 13C sodium acetate passes through the stomach and is only absorbed in the small intestine. There it is assimilated and rapidly metabolized to carbon dioxide, which is transported in the blood to the lungs and excreted there in the breath. The gastric emptying rate thus correlates closely with the appearance of 13CO2 in the exhaled air.

Sodium acetate is present as a natural metabolite in the human body in significant amounts, so that no side effects are to be expected. It is also quite tasty and can be added to milk, coffee or tea.