Background and Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of gastric electrical stimulation (GES) on symptoms and gastric emptying in patients with gastroparesis, and the effects of GES on the three subgroups of gastroparesis.
Methods: A literature search of clinical trials using high-frequency GES to treat patients with gastroparesis from January 1995 to January 2011 was performed. Data on the total symptom severity score (TSS), nausea severity score, vomiting severity score, and gastric emptying were extracted and analyzed. The statistic effect index was weighted mean differences.
Results: Ten studies (n = 601) were included in this study. In the comparison to baseline, there was significant improvement of symptoms and gastric emptying (P < 0.00001). It was noted that GES significantly improved both TSS (P < 0.00001) and gastric retention at 2 h (P = 0.003) and 4 h (P < 0.0001) in patients with diabetic gastroparesis (DG), while gastric retention at 2 h (P = 0.18) in idiopathic gastroparesis (IG) patients, and gastric retention at 4 h (P = 0.23) in postsurgical gastroparesis (PSG) patients, did not reach significance.
Conclusions: Based on this meta-analysis, the substantial and significant improvement of symptoms and gastric emptying, and the good safety we observed, indicate that high-frequency GES is an effective and safe method for treating refractory gastroparesis. DG patients seem the most responsive to GES, both subjectively and objectively, while the IG and PSG subgroups are less responsive and need further research.