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Gastroenterology. 1988 Apr;94(4):907-14.

There are no morphologic abnormalities of the gastric wall or abdominal vagus in patients with diabetic gastroparesis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.


Because there is evidence for vagal autonomic neuropathy as the cause of diabetic gastroparesis, we hypothesized that this disorder should be associated with morphologic abnormalities of the abdominal vagus nerve or gastric myenteric plexus, or both. We studied the smooth muscle and myenteric plexus of the stomach in 18 nondiabetic controls and 16 patients with long-standing diabetes. Five of the diabetics had gastroparesis and 11 did not. We utilized conventional histology and Smith's silver technique for visualizing the myenteric plexus. Neurons within the myenteric plexus were quantified in sections stained with each technique. The abdominal vagus nerves from 5 diabetics (2 with gastroparesis) and 12 nondiabetic controls were stained with hematoxylin and eosin, Gomori trichrome, luxol-fast blue, and Holmes' silver stains. There were no abnormalities in the numbers or appearance of neurons or axons in the myenteric plexus of the stomach of diabetics, with or without gastroparesis. Also absent were abnormalities of the smooth muscle or vagus nerve. Thus, no morphologic abnormalities of the gastric wall or abdominal vagus were identified in diabetic gastroparesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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