Background/Aims: To evaluate associations between delayed gastric emptying (GE) assessed by the octanoic acid breath test and upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms. Methods: A historical, prospective study included 111 consecutive symptomatic adults referred for a GE breath test because of upper abdominal symptoms suggestive of delayed GE. Exclusion criteria included underlying organic disease associated with delayed GE. Patients completed a symptom questionnaire and underwent a GE octanoic breath test. Patients with delayed GE were compared with those with normal results, for upper GI symptoms. Results Early satiety was the only symptom significantly associated with delayed GE. It was observed in 52% of subjects with delayed GE compared to 33% patients with no evidence of delayed GE (P = 0.005). This association was seen for all degrees of severity of delayed GE. Patients with early satiety had a t1/2 of 153.9 ± 84.6 minutes compared to 110.9 ± 47.6 minutes in subjects without it (P = 0.002). In a logistic regression model, early satiety was significantly associated with delayed GE (OR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.01-5.18; P = 0.048). Conclusions Early satiety is the only patient-reported GI symptom associated with delayed GE. The utility of GE tests as a clinical diagnostic tool in the work-up of dyspeptic symptoms may be overrated.
- Breath tests
- Gastric emptying