Original Article

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 1003-1010

First online:

Gastroparesis and Gastroparesis-like Syndrome: Response to Therapy and Its Predictors

  • Rajeswari AnaparthyAffiliated withUniversity of Texas Medical Branch
  • , Nonko PehlivanovAffiliated withUniversity of Texas Medical Branch
  • , James GradyAffiliated withUniversity of Texas Medical Branch
  • , Han YimeiAffiliated withUniversity of Texas Medical Branch
  • , Pankaj J. PasrichaAffiliated withStanford University School of Medicine Email author 

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Purpose The natural history and outcome of patients with gastroparesis is not well known. The aim of this study was to identify the clinical or pathophysiological characteristics, if any, that may be helpful in predicting therapeutic response in this condition. Methods This is a retrospective study of a cohort of patients who presented to a tertiary referral center with symptoms suggestive of gastroparesis. All patients were evaluated by scintigraphic measurement of gastric emptying and symptoms were scored using a modification of the Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI). Treatment generally included conservative measures such as antiemetics, prokinetics, tricyclic antidepressants, and analgesics as well as various more invasive interventions in selected patients. Response to treatment was defined as a change in the overall GCSI score of two-thirds or more as compared with baseline. Results Out of a total of 93 patients, 69 patients met the eligibility criteria. Of these, 29 patients had diabetes mellitus and 40 patients had gastroparesis of nondiabetic etiology. Out of 69 patients, 49 were responders (71%) and 20 were nonresponders (29%). The cause (diabetic versus nondiabetic) of gastroparesis or the presence of delayed emptying did not correlate with response. However, the severity of stomach distension, bloating subscale score, and the global GCSI score at baseline presentation were predictive of response by multivariate analysis. Conclusion Higher global GCSI score, bloating subscale score, and severity of stomach distension at baseline presentation correlated with an unfavorable response in gastroparetic patients. On the other hand, neither the etiology of gastroparesis nor associated delay in gastric emptying appeared to be important in the clinical response. Patients with symptoms of typical gastroparesis but without delays in gastric emptying may have a distinct syndrome with a greater proportion of males than classical gastroparesis.


Diabetic gastroparesis Response in gastroparesis Bloating