Gastroparesis: definitions and diagnosis

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2015 Mar;44(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2014.11.001. Epub 2014 Dec 24.


Gastroparesis is a chronic symptomatic disorder of the stomach characterized by delayed emptying without evidence of mechanical obstruction. Symptoms of gastroparesis include nausea, vomiting, early satiety, postprandial fullness, and upper abdominal pain. The 3 main causes are diabetic, postsurgical, and idiopathic. Diagnosis is confirmed by demonstrating delayed gastric emptying. Gastric emptying rates measured by gastric motor testing generally correlate poorly with symptoms and quality of life in patients with gastroparesis. It may be appropriate to reconsider the definition of gastroparesis, recognizing it as a broader spectrum of gastric neuromuscular dysfunction.

Keywords: Diabetes; Gastric emptying; Gastroparesis; Nausea; Vomiting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology
  • Gastroparesis / diagnosis*
  • Gastroparesis / etiology
  • Gastroparesis / physiopathology
  • Humans