Background & aims: Impaired fundic accommodation to a meal and hypersensitivity to distention are increasingly recognized as important mechanisms underlying functional dyspepsia (FD). In the present study, we evaluated whether a drink test can predict such abnormalities and thus represent a noninvasive tool to study proximal stomach motor function.
Methods: Healthy volunteers (HV), nonconsulters with mild dyspeptic symptoms (MS), and patients with FD filled out a disease-specific questionnaire and underwent a drink test with either water or with a high calorie fluid. The maximal ingested volume and the subsequent symptoms were meticulously recorded. In addition, all subjects underwent a gastric barostat study assessing meal-induced relaxation and sensation to distention.
Results: Drinking capacity was not significantly related to any particular dyspeptic symptom. FD were able to consume less water (893 +/- 70 mL) and caloric liquid (767 +/- 50 mL) compared with HV (water, 1764 +/- 120 mL; caloric liquid, 1308 +/- 96 mL) or MS (water, 1645 +/- 120 mL; caloric liquid, 973 +/- 45 mL). Approximately half of the FD had an abnormal water or Nutridrink test compared with 9% of MS and 4% of HV. Furthermore, FD developed significantly more symptoms than MS or HV after both drink tests. The drinking capacity did not predict impaired fundic accommodation or visceral hypersensitivity.
Conclusions: FD, but not MS, have an impaired drinking capacity to both water and a nutrient liquid. The drinking capacity is not related to a specific dyspeptic symptom and does not predict proximal stomach motor function.