BACKGROUND: Barostat methodology is widely used for assessing visceral perception. Different barostat protocols are described with respect to the measurement of rectal compliance and visceral perception. The choice of protocols affects the duration, which is normally 60-90 min, and accuracy of the procedure. This study aimed to shorten the procedure by using the semi-random distension protocol for both compliance and visceral perception measurement and a correction based on rectal capacity (RC) instead of minimal distension pressure (MDP). METHODS: Twelve irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients (7 females) and 11 healthy controls (8 females) underwent a barostat procedure. Compliance was determined during both a staircase distension and a semi-random protocol. Visceral perception data were compared as a function of pressure or relative volume, corrected for MDP or RC, respectively. RESULTS: Compliance measurement using the semi-random protocol instead of the staircase distension protocol resulted in an overestimation in healthy volunteers, but not in IBS patients. The overall conclusion that IBS patients had a lower compliance compared to controls was not different between protocols. Data presentation of the visceral perception scores as a function of corrected volume instead of pressures corrected for MDP did not alter the conclusion that sensation scores in IBS patients were higher as compared to healthy controls. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that barostat procedures may be shortened by approximately 20 min, without losing the ability to discriminate between healthy controls and IBS patients. A correction for RC instead of MDP may improve the accuracy of the procedure.