Gastric emptying in normal weight and obese children - An ultrasound study

M. Chiloiro, M. Caroli, V. Guerra, A. Lodadea Piepoli, G. Riezzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


AIM: To investigate gastric emptying of a mixed solid and liquid meal in normal weight and obese children. METHODS: 114 volunteer children of school age (range 6-11 y) entered the study. Children were considered as being underweight, normal weight, obese, severely obese according to their body mass index (BMI), and were examined using a non-invasive ultrasound method in the morning after an overnight fast period. The examination was always performed in an upright position by the same operator. The half-emptying time and fasting antral area were assessed, and antral area measurements were performed every 30 min for 240 min after meal administration. RESULTS: Five children (4.4%) were underweight, 53 (46.5%) were normal weight, 19 (16.6%) were obese, and 37 (32.5%) were severely obese. The underweight group was not considered for the analysis. No significant difference in t(1/2) was found among the three groups. A positive statistically significant correlation was found between fasting antral area and BMI (r = 0.44; P <0.0001) in all children. The fasting antral area value was 3.5 cm2 (range 1.6-8.1) in normal weight children, 3.6 cm2 (range 1.9-7.7) in obese children, and 3.9 cm2 (range 1.5-10.8) in severely obese children. There was a significant difference between severely obese and normal weight children (P <0.05). No significant difference was found in the gastric emptying between severely obese and obese children, and between severely obese and normal weight ones. CONCLUSION: The difference in fasting antral area in these groups may be considered as an early disturbance. In fact the increased gastric volume could cause a change in the sense of satiety with a consequent increase in the intake of these subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1306
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Children
  • Gastric emptying
  • Obesity
  • Ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Endocrinology
  • Food Science
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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