Purpose of review: Gastroparesis is a common disorder that produces symptoms of gastric retention in the absence of physical obstruction. Extensive research into the clinical features, pathophysiology, diagnostic evaluation, and therapy of gastroparesis in the past several years has offered insight into the condition. This review provides updated information on gastroparesis focusing on new findings from the past few years.
Recent findings: Large database studies have characterized clinical profiles in idiopathic and diabetic gastroparesis and are defining roles of gastric and extragastric factors in symptom genesis. Dietary deficiencies in gastroparesis have been clarified. Histologic study of full thickness gastric tissue in severe gastroparesis shows heterogeneous enteric neuronal, smooth muscle, interstitial cell, and inflammatory abnormalities. Advances in gastric emptying testing include wireless motility capsules and nonradioactive breath tests. The importance of glycemic control in diabetic gastroparesis is a focus of current investigation. Novel therapies include new prokinetics (ghrelin agonists), increased focus on antiemetic agents including antidepressants, and next generation gastric stimulators. Studies are being initiated to delineate the natural history of gastroparesis.
Summary: Much has been learned recently on the causes, clinical presentations, and management of gastroparesis. Current ongoing investigation provides promise for further gains in the years ahead.