Background: Disturbed antroduodenal motility plays an important role in the pathophysiology of functional dyspepsia (FD). Such motility disturbances can be investigated by transcutaneous ultrasound. When it is measured in a standardized section, patients with FD have on an average significantly larger antral area than healthy controls.
Methods: In this study we investigated the relationship between the antral area measured by ultrasound and the amount of fasting gastric content quantitated by aspiration through the gastroscope in 30 patients. In five healthy controls we measured the increment of the antral area after ingestion of graded volumes of water. All recordings were made in interdigestive phase I.
Results: Measurements of the antral area were highly reproducible, with small variations within an hour and from day to day. There was a highly significant correlation between ultrasonographically measured antral area and amount of fasting gastric juice and between increment of antral area and amounts of ingested water.
Conclusions: The ultrasonographically measured antral area during fasting is highly reproducible. Enlarged fasting antral area reflects increased volume of gastric juice.