Diabetic gastroparesis: current challenges and future prospects

Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2018 Sep 25;11:347-363. doi: 10.2147/CEG.S131650. eCollection 2018.


Diabetic gastroparesis (DMGP) is a condition of delayed gastric emptying after gastric outlet obstruction has been excluded. Symptoms of nausea, vomiting, early satiety, bloating, and abdominal pain are associated with DMGP. Uncontrolled symptoms can lead to overall poor quality of life and financial burdens on the healthcare system. A combination of antiemetics and prokinetics is used in symptom control; metoclopramide is the main prokinetic available for clinical use and is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved agent in the United States. However, a black box warning in 2009 reporting its association with tardive dyskinesia and recommending caution in chronically using this agent beyond 3 months has decreased its role in clinical practice. There is an unmet need for new prokinetics with good efficacy and safety profiles. Currently, there are several new drugs with different mechanisms of action in the pipeline that are under investigation and show promising preliminary results. Surgically combining gastric electrical stimulation with pyloroplasty is considered "gold" standard. Advances in therapeutic endoscopic intervention with gastric per-oral endoscopic pyloromyotomy have also been shown to improve gastric emptying and gastroparesis (GP) symptoms. In this review, we will comment on the challenges encountered when managing patients with DMGP and provide an update on advances in drug development and endoscopic and surgical interventions.

Keywords: Enterra; bloating; diabetes; fullness; nausea; vomiting.

Publication types

  • Review