Effect of liquid and solid test meals on symptoms and gastric myoelectrical activity in patients with gastroparesis and functional dyspepsia

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2023 Feb;35(2):e14376. doi: 10.1111/nmo.14376. Epub 2022 Apr 11.


Background: Patients with gastroparesis (GP) and functional dyspepsia (FD) have similar symptoms, but the pathophysiology of postprandial symptoms remains uncertain.

Aims: To compare symptoms and gastric myoelectrical activity (GMA) after liquid and solid test meals in patients with GP and FD.

Methods: Patients enrolled in the Gastroparesis Clinical Research Consortium Registry were studied. Clinical characteristics were measured with standard questionnaires. GP was determined by 4-h solid-phase gastric scintigraphy. GMA was measured using electrogastrography before and after ingestion of a water load or nutrient bar on separate days. Symptoms were measured on visual analog scales. GMA responses to the water load for individual patients were also determined.

Results: 284 patients with GP and 113 with FD were identified who ingested both test meals. Patients with GP and FD had similar maximal tolerated volumes of water [mean (SD) 378 (218) ml vs. 402 (226) ml, p = 0.23] and reported similar intensity of fullness, nausea, bloating, and abdominal discomfort after the test meals. Twenty-six percent and 19% of the patients with GP and FD, respectively, ingested subthreshold (<238 ml) volumes of water (p = 0.15). Gastric dysrhythmias were recorded in 66% of the GP and 65% of the FD patients after the water load. Symptoms and GMA were similar in both groups after ingestion of the nutrient bar.

Conclusion: The similarity in GMA responses and symptoms after ingestion of solid or liquid test meals suggests GP and FD are closely related gastric neuromuscular disorders.

Keywords: functional dyspepsia; gastric dysrhythmias; gastroparesis; nutrient bar meal; postprandial distress syndrome; water load satiety test.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Dyspepsia*
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology
  • Gastroparesis*
  • Humans
  • Meals
  • Water


  • Water