Often symptoms alone cannot be reliably used for accurate diagnosis of a patient's motility disorder. Proper evaluation of patients with suspected gastrointestinal motility disorders is important to correctly diagnose a patient's condition and to treat the patient in an appropriate manner. Tests of GI motility allow the assessment and identification of abnormal patterns and physiology.
For each area of the GI tract, there are different GI motility tests that assess different functions and provide different types of information. Gastrointestinal motility testing provides physicians with important information for patient care including:
- Correct diagnosis of GI motility disorders,
- A guide for treatment of patients, and
- Prognostic information of the patient.
The first set of tests that are often recommended define the anatomy of the intestinal tract. Possible structural problems need to be ruled out before proceeding to the second set of studies, which evaluate how the GI tract functions.