THE DETECTION and quantitation of steatorrhea is currently receiving much emphasis in clinical medicine. Although it is generally accepted that chemical stool analyses are the most accurate means to evaluate this condition, the more recently introduced isotopic fat procedures are easier to perform and give similar data provided that they are carried out in accordance with certain precise criteria.1-4 However, both of these methods, chemical and radioactive, involve 48- to 72-hour fecal collections which impose serious limitations on their availability in many hospitals. The present report describes a new technique involving external body counting which obviates this difficulty and at the same time provides additional data including the rate of fat absorption.
Method and Materials
Without prior blocking of the thyroid gland, after an overnight fast, the patient receives a test meal containing approximately 100μc of triolein I131 in 8 oz (236.6 ml) of a half-milk, half-cream mixture.