Efficacy of Nutrient or Water Drinking Tests for Assessing Functional Dyspepsia

Researchers reviewed the use of different drink tests as potential biomarkers in patients with functional dyspepsia.

A satiety drinking test (SDT) may effectively assess impaired gastric accommodation (GA) among patients with functional dyspepsia, according to results of a systematic review published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Researchers searched publication databases for studies on functional drink tests for the diagnosis of functional dyspepsia. A total of 9 studies on the satiety drinking test (n=5), rapid water drink test (n=3), and rapid water and nutrient drink test (n=1) were included. In total, the trials consisted of 381 patients with functional dyspepsia and 295 controls.

Results suggested that satiety drinking tests were based on volume-driven satiety not nutrient-driven satiety and may be used to assess GA. Satiety tests which used a peristaltic pump at a rate of 15 to 30 mL/min were reported as easy to use. This test was shown to have good intrasubject correlation across sessions. In general, women consumed less volume than men, older men consumed more than younger men, and older pediatric girls consumed more than younger pediatric girls.

For rapid water drinking tests, men tended to consume more liquid than women and patients with functional dyspepsia were able to tolerate less volume than controls. Results of the rapid water drinking tests were shown to be reproducible. The volume of water consumed was correlated with age and height, but not body mass index or gastric emptying rate.

The rapid nutrient drink tests were similar to rapid water drink tests in terms of ease of use. However, the volume of nutrients tolerated was less than in water drink tests. Additionally, their reproducibility warrants further investigation.    

Compared with controls, functional drinking tests were shown to have significant differences for nausea, fullness, satiety, bloating, and/or pain among patients with functional dyspepsia.

The results of this systematic review may have been limited by the small sample sizes and the effects of pharmacological agents among some of the study participants.

Taking all evidence into consideration, the study authors found that the satiety drinking test was best at assessing GA via severity of early satiation among patients with functional dyspepsia.

Disclosure: An author declared affiliations with industry. Please refer to the original article for a full list of disclosures.


Scarpellini E, Van den Houte K, Schol J, et al. Nutrient drinking test as biomarker in functional dyspepsia. Am J Gastroenterol. 2021;116(7):1387-1395. doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000001242