Background: The correlation between symptoms and observed impaired function in functional dyspepsia is still inconsistent. The aims of the study were to obtain a measure of satiety by a meal test; to verify whether this compares with severity of symptoms assessed using a reproducible questionnaire; and to correlate the parameters of satiety test and gastric emptying with all the dyspeptic symptoms.
Methods: Fifty-two functional dyspepsia patients reported their symptoms on a standardized questionnaire that considered belching, bloating, early satiety, epigastric pain and burning, nausea, postprandial fullness and vomiting. They were monitored for gastric emptying of a solid caloric meal using a radionuclide technique and underwent a test to quantify meal-induced satiety by a liquid caloric meal.
Results: The number of kilocalories ingested during the satiety test until the occurrence of maximum satiety in healthy subjects was 110% higher than in the dyspeptic group (mean +/- s(mean): 1110 +/- 23 versus 532 +/- 56; P < 0.01). We found a significant positive correlation between gastric emptying rate and kcal of the satiety test (P < 0.01; r = 0.428). Logistic regression showed a significant inverse association between severity of early satiety-coded as absent, mild, moderate or severe, kcal of meal test (P = 0.01), and gastric emptying lag phase (P = 0.03). Bloating was associated directly with t(1/2) of gastric emptying (P = 0.03) and inversely with lag phase (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: The satiety test gives a fine numerical measure of satiety and confirms the results of a symptoms questionnaire. Our study showed an indirect correlation between severity of early satiety--as measured by the satiety test, and gastric emptying rate, as well as an association between bloating and delayed gastric emptying.