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The gastrointestinal absorption of a hypolipidemic agent (CGP 43371) was investigated using an external scintigraphy technique in six healthy men. After an overnight fast, subjects received a single 800-mg oral dose of CGP 43371 (4 capsules of 200 mg each) and one capsule of radioactive samarium-153 oxide (100-130 µCi) as a nonabsorbable marker of gastrointestinal transit and fecal recovery for CGP 43371. In vivo gastrointestinal transit of samarium-153 was monitored via gamma scintigraphy for 48 hours after administration to coincide with blood sampling. Samarium-153 content in whole fecal samples was determined by external gamma scintigraphy, and CGP 43371 content in both fecal and plasma samples was determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results of fecal analysis indicated that transit of the two compounds in the gastrointestinal tract were similar, and bioavailability of CGP 43371 was calculated to be 9% based on the difference between the cumulative amounts of the nonabsorbable radioactive marker and CGP 43371 found in the feces. The onset of drug absorption occurred 4 hours after administration when radioactive samarium-153 was in the distal small bowel, and peak plasma drug level occurred 6 hours after administration, which corresponded with the arrival of samarium-153 in the terminal ileum and ileal/cecal junction. This observation supported the concept that primary absorption of this compound was in the distal to terminal portion of the ileum. Although the onset of drug absorption was delayed, it was curious that the rate of gastric emptying also affected the extent of absorption. A positive correlation (r = 0.91) between area under the drug curve (AUC) and area under the transit curve (AUTC) of the gastric emptying showed that longer gastric residence improved oral absorption of CGP 43371.