In patients with functional dyspepsia, scanning by a novel ultrasonographic method was carried out to investigate postprandial accommodation of the proximal stomach. Twenty patients with functional dyspepsia and 20 controls were scanned fasting in a sitting position after drinking 500 ml meat soup. Images were recorded up to 25 min after the ingestion period using an ultrasound sector scanner with a 3.25-MHz transducer. The area in a sagittal section and the maximal diameter in a oblique frontal section were chosen as the main variables for calculating the emptying fraction of the proximal stomach, defined as: (aV2.5min - aVactual/aV2.5min. All subjects were asked to score total symptoms (1-9) provoked by the meal. From 7.5 to 25 min after the ingestion period the patients exhibited both smaller area in the sagittal section (P < 0.018) and shorter diameter in the frontal section (P < 0.046) compared with the healthy controls, and they suffered more symptoms in response to the meal (P = 0.002). Dyspeptic patients revealed higher emptying fractions (P = 0.0005, ANOVA), and H. pylori status did not influence the emptying fractions. Diagnostic sensitivity of the method at 20 min postprandially was 70% and the specificity was 65%. Patients with functional dyspepsia have impaired accommodation of the proximal stomach to a meal, temporarily related to symptom induction.