Get access

Assessment of gastric motor function in childhood functional dyspepsia and obesity


Address for Correspondence
Prof. Dr. Ilse Hoffman, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
Tel: +32 16 34 38 43; fax: +32 16 34 38 42;


Background  The aim was to compare gastric emptying rate and nutrient tolerance during a satiety drinking test in children with functional dyspepsia (FD) and obesity and to study the relationship between daily caloric intake and the satiety drinking test.

Methods  A total of 28 dyspeptic children (22 girls, mean age 12.5 ± 3.1 years) and 15 obese children (five girls, 13.3 ± 1.8 years) were studied. The patients underwent an octanoic acid gastric emptying breath test and a satiety drinking test. Prior to both tests, a dyspepsia questionnaire was filled out to calculate the mean calorie intake.

Key Results  The most prevalent dyspeptic symptoms were early satiety (96.4%), postprandial fullness (89.2%), and epigastric pain (78.6%), followed by nausea (50%). All dyspeptic and obese children (= 43) started the satiety drinking test and 41 children completed the test until a score of 5 was reached. The maximum ingested volume in FD was significantly lower than in obesity or in age-matched healthy controls (252 ± 85 vs 479 ± 199 and 359 ± 29 mL respectively, both < 0.05). As a group, dyspeptic children had significantly slower gastric emptying than obese children (89.7 ± 54.8 min vs 72.5 ± 26.0 min, = 0.05). Daily calorie intake was significantly higher in obese children than that in dyspeptic children (2325 ± 469 vs 1503 ± 272 cal, < 0.0001). The endpoint of the satiety drinking test was significantly correlated with body weight or BMI (both R = 0.41, = 0.04), but not with daily calorie intake, gastric emptying rate or age.

Conclusions & Inferences  The satiety drinking test is a potentially useful non-invasive tool in the investigation of children with FD and obesity.