A pilot study to compare meal-triggered gastric electrical stimulation and insulin treatment in Chinese obese type 2 diabetes

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2015 Apr;17(4):283-90. doi: 10.1089/dia.2014.0234. Epub 2015 Feb 24.


Background: Gastrointestinal electromodulation therapy is a novel alternative for achieving diabetes control without traditional bariatric surgery. We compared the efficacy of a meal-initiated implantable gastric contractility modulation (GCM) device with that of insulin therapy in obese Chinese type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients, for whom oral antidiabetes drugs (OADs) had failed.

Patients and methods: Sixteen obese (body mass index, 27.5-40.0 kg/m(2)) T2D patients with a glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level of >7.5% on maximal doses of two or more OADs were offered either insulin therapy (n=8) or laparoscopic implantation of a GCM (n=8). We compared changes in body weight, waist circumference (WC), and HbA1c level 1 year after surgery.

Results: The GCM and insulin groups had similar baseline body weight and HbA1c. At 12 months, body weight (-3.2±5.2 kg, P=0.043) and WC (-3.8±4.5 cm, P=0.021) fell in the GCM group but not in the insulin group (P<0.05 for between-group difference). At 6 and 12 months, the HbA1c level fell by 1.6±1.1% and 0.9±1.6% (P=0.011), compared with 0.6±0.3% and 0.6±0.3% (P=0.08) for the insulin group (P=0.15 for between-group difference). The mean 24-h systolic blood pressure (BP) fell by 4.5±1.0 mm Hg in the GCM group (P=0.017) but not in the insulin group. The GCM group required fewer antidiabetes medications (P<0.05) and BP-lowering drugs (P<0.05) than the insulin group. A subgroup analysis showed that patients with a triglyceride level of <1.7 mmol/L had a tendency toward a lower HbA1c level (P=0.090) compared with the controls.

Conclusions: In obese T2D patients for whom OADs had failed, GCM implantation was a well-tolerated alternative to insulin therapy, with a low triglyceride level as a possible predictor for glycemic response.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00975533.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • China
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Infusion Pumps, Implantable
  • Insulin / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Meals
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Stomach / physiology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Waist Circumference / drug effects
  • Weight Loss


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Triglycerides
  • hemoglobin A1c protein, human

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00975533