AIM Patients with various disorders of gastric function were studied with radiolabeled test meals of different consistency to elaborate the effect of ingested media on gastric peristalsis and emptying. METHODS In 12 patients parameters of gastric function were intraindividually compared after ingestion of a semiliquid and a solid test meal. In addition to the standard evaluation derived from time activity curves condensed images were established from two fixed time intervals (early and late period). These images were used to evaluate the amplitude and frequency of gastric contractions using Fourier analysis. RESULTS As expected gastric emptying was influenced by the consistency of the test meal. Mean emptying rates for the solid meal were significant lower than those for the semiliquid one (p < 0.01). The amplitude and frequency of gastric contractions, however, did not depend on the consistency of the test meal. Within the course of the examination contraction amplitudes significantly increased (p < 0.05) from the early to the late period using both, solid as well as semiliquid test meals. The frequency of gastric contractions remained unchanged. CONCLUSION As shown by an intraindividual data comparison amplitude and frequency of gastric contractions seem to be independent of the consistency of ingested test meals whereas gastric emptying is significantly influenced by the administered media. Semiliquid meals offer advantages with respect to the shorter examination time and simpler preparation and therefore may be preferred for routine use. Since amplitudes seem to vary within the observation period standardized acquisition protocols are recommended for the evaluation of this parameter.