In functional dyspepsia, abnormal intragastric distribution of a test meal has been identified but has never been correlated to any symptom pattern. The aim of this study was to compare the intragastric distribution of a meal between functional dyspepsia patients and controls, and to correlate distribution with symptom patterns, using scintigraphic gastric emptying studies. In forty patients with functional dyspepsia and 29 healthy volunteers, scintigraphic planar images were obtained immediately after ingestion of a mixed radiolabelled test meal and every 20 min for 2 h. The images of the stomach were divided into proximal and distal compartments. The mean intragastric distribution was similar in patients and controls. Over the whole test, 18 (45%) and 20 (50%) patients had a distal redistribution of the solid and liquid phase of the meal, respectively, while proximal retention of these phases was found in 13 (33%) and 9 (23%) patients. Early satiety was associated with early distal redistribution of the liquid phase and fullness was associated with late proximal retention. This study shows similar intragastric distribution of a test meal in health and functional dyspepsia. Within the patient group, an association between abnormal intragastric distribution patterns and symptom profiles was found, which might be related to different pathophysiological mechanisms.