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Keywords:

  • gastric electrical stimulation;
  • gastric emptying;
  • gastroparesis;
  • nausea and vomiting

Abstract  To investigate whether there is an association between gastric emptying rate and symptom improvement in gastroparetic patients treated with gastric electrical stimulation (GES), we retrospectively reviewed 63 gastroparetic patients who received GES therapy for at least 1 year. Patient characteristics, seven upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and 4-h standardized gastric emptying test (GET) were evaluated at baseline and at 1 year of GES. All symptoms were significantly reduced (< 0.001). Mean gastric retention was reduced by 7% (= 0.102) for measurement at 4 h. Of the 63 patients, 14 had their GET normalized and 49 remained delayed after 1 year. Normalized GET patients had a similar symptom improvement as those whose GET remained delayed. Of all upper GI symptoms, the improvements in vomiting (= 0.04), nausea (= 0.002) and epigastric pain (= 0.001) were significantly correlated with reduction in 4-h gastric retention between baseline and 12 months of GES therapy for patients with normalized gastric emptying but there were no correlations with any symptoms and change in gastric emptying for those patients who remained delayed. In summary, overall gastric emptying is not significantly accelerated at 4 h after successful symptomatic improvement with GES but nausea, vomiting and epigastric pain can be correlated with normalization of GET in a subset of patients.