The deconvolution technique can be used to compute small intestinal impulse response curves from scintigraphic data. Previously suggested approaches, however, are sensitive to noise from the data. We investigated whether deconvolution based on a new simple iterative convolving technique can be recommended. Eight healthy volunteers ingested a meal that contained indium-111 diethylene triamine penta-acetic acid labelled water and technetium-99m stannous colloid labelled omelette. Imaging was performed at 30-min intervals until all radioactivity was located in the colon. A Fermi function=(1+e-alphabeta)/(1+e(t-alpha)beta) was chosen to characterize the small intestinal impulse response function. By changing only two parameters, alpha and beta, it is possible to obtain configurations from nearly a square function to nearly a monoexponential function. Small intestinal input function was obtained from the gastric emptying curve and convolved with the Fermi function. The sum of least squares was used to find alpha and beta yielding the best fit of the convolved curve to the observed small intestinal time-activity curve. Finally, a small intestinal mean transit time was calculated from the Fermi function referred to. In all cases, we found an excellent fit of the convolved curve to the observed small intestinal time-activity curve, that is the Fermi function reflected the small intestinal impulse response curve. Small intestinal mean transit time of liquid marker (median 2.02 h) was significantly shorter than that of solid marker (median 2.99 h; P<0.02). The iterative convolving technique seems to be an attractive alternative to ordinary approaches for the processing of small intestinal transit data.