Abstract Nutrient drink tests have been proposed as a surrogate for measurement of gastric accommodation. To study the relationship of maximum tolerated volume (MTV) during nutrient drink test and gastric volumes measured by single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in healthy controls and functional dyspepsia (FD) patients. We reviewed data from 85 healthy controls and 35 FD residents of south-eastern Minnesota. All underwent standardized nutrient drink and SPECT studies between August 2000 and June 2003. To test for associations between nutrient drink test and SPECT gastric volumes, we used multiple linear regression and partial regression analyses, assigning age, gender, dyspepsia status and postprandial symptoms as covariates in the model. In the combined group (healthy and FD), MTV was weakly associated with fasting gastric volume (r = 0.43, P = 0.0001) and with volume response to feeding (r = 0.25, P = 0.006). In the FD group, associations were similar (fasting r = 0.53, P = 0.001; postmeal r = 0.32, P = 0.06). After accounting for covariates, MTV only explained 13 and 3% of variations in fasting and postprandial volumes measured by SPECT. MTV during the nutrient drink test does not accurately reflect gastric volume measurements by SPECT in healthy controls and a sample of people in the community with FD.