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Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2010 Jun;6(6):1-16.

Treatment of patients with diabetic gastroparesis.

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Henry P. Parkman, MD Internal-General Medicine & Gastroenterology Temple Clinical Research Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Gastroparesis, or chronic delayed gastric emptying without mechanical obstruction, affects about 40% of patients with type 1 diabetes and up to 30% of patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetic gastroparesis (DGP) typically causes nausea, vomiting, early satiety, bloating, and postprandial fullness. These symptoms can be extremely troubling and result in poor quality of life. The diagnosis of DGP is made by documenting the presence of chronic upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, ruling out mechanical obstruction, and demonstrating delayed gastric emptying. The usual treatment for DGP includes dietary modifications, prokinetic agents, and antiemetic agents. Although the majority of patients have mild-to-moderate disease that can be managed using these measures, a substantial percentage of patients have severe DGP that is characterized by inadequate oral intake, malnutrition, weight loss, and frequent hospitalizations. Optimal management of these patients presents a difficult challenge for the clinician, although emerging treatment options, such as gastric neurostimulation, are encouraging. Patients with DGP often present with gastric comorbidities, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, intestinal dysmotility, and fungal and bacterial infections of the GI tract. This monograph will present an overview of the pathophysiology of DGP, review diagnostic testing with a discussion of emerging technology, and present the latest research in treatment options for DGP. In addition, management strategies for refractory DGP and gastric comorbidities will be described.


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