Aims: To evaluate the natural history of gastric emptying in type 2 diabetes.
Methods: 12 patients with type 2 diabetes (7 female; age 65.6 ± 1.2 years; duration of known diabetes 22.9 ± 1.5 years) were invited to return for repeat measurements of gastric emptying using the same dual-labelled solid and liquid meal, a mean of 14.0 ± 0.5 years after their initial study. Blood glucose levels, glycated haemoglobin, upper gastrointestinal symptoms and autonomic nerve function at baseline and follow up were also compared.
Results: Gastric emptying of solids was more rapid at follow up than at baseline (period effect P < 0.05), while emptying of liquids was comparable at baseline and follow up (period effect P = 0.2). Gastric emptying of the solid component was abnormally slow (based on T100min) in 6 subjects at baseline and 1 subject at follow up. Liquid emptying was abnormally slow in 6 subjects at baseline, and 5 subjects at follow up. Two patients were insulin treated at baseline, and 6 at follow up. HbA1c was higher at follow up (P < 0.05); however, fasting blood glucose (P = 0.6), postprandial blood glucose excursions (P = 0.07), autonomic nerve function (P > 0.999), and total upper gastrointestinal symptom score (P = 0.1) did not differ.
Conclusions: In patients with long-term type 2 diabetes, gastric emptying of solids and liquids does not usually become more delayed over time, and abnormally slow gastric emptying of solids may improve.
Keywords: Gastric emptying; Longitudinal; Scintigraphy; Type 2 diabetes.
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