Gastric dysrhythmias and normal gastric myoelectrical activity have been recorded in patients with functional dyspepsia. The aim of this study was to determine the reproducibility of gastric myoelectrical patterns and responses to a water load in patients with dysmotility-like functional dyspepsia and healthy control subjects. We studied 24 patients with dysmotility-like functional dyspepsia and 24 age-matched control subjects. Gastric myoelectrical activity was assessed using cutaneous electrodes to record electrogastrograms (EGGs) before and after the subjects ingested water until full. The EGGs with water load tests were repeated 1 week apart. The patients ingested significantly smaller volumes of water at both week 1 and 2 (358 +/- 26 mL and 349 +/- 30 mL) compared to control subjects (557 +/- 35 mL and 560 +/- 27 mL, p < 0.01). Gastric dysrhythmias were found in 4 of 24 (16.7%) control subjects at each visit and in 14 (58%) and 12 (50%) of the dyspeptic patients at week 1 and 2, respectively. Of 14 patients, 2 (14.3%) had gastric dysrhythmias at week 1 but had normal gastric rhythms at week 2. Thus, reproducibility was 100% in the control subjects and 91.7% in the patients. In conclusion, some variability in EGG pattern occurred, but gastric myoelectrical activity and responses to the water load test were generally consistent and reproducible in patients with dysmotility-like functional dyspepsia and in healthy control subjects.