Gastroparesis and functional dyspepsia: different diseases or different ends of the spectrum?

Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2020 Nov;36(6):509-517. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0000000000000677.


Purpose of review: This review assesses the relationship between gastroparesis and functional dyspepsia, in light of recent research assessing cause, pathophysiology and treatment.

Recent findings: The Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI) lacks the ability to readily distinguish functional dyspepsia from gastroparesis based on symptoms. Although prior studies found that the extent of delay in gastric emptying did not accurately predict severity of symptoms, when optimally measured, delayed gastric emptying may in fact correlate with gastroparesis symptoms. Enteric dysmotility may be an important risk factor for gastroparesis. Altered central processing may play a role in symptom generation for both gastroparesis and functional dyspepsia based on functional brain MRI. Treatment directed towards reducing low-grade inflammation and improving mucosal barrier function in the duodenum may represent a novel therapeutic target for functional dyspepsia, whereas gastric peroral endoscopy myotomy (G-POEM) remains a promising intervention for refractory gastroparesis.

Summary: Abnormalities on functional MRI of the brain have been identified in patients with functional dyspepsia and gastroparesis. Small bowel dysmotility and duodenal barrier dysfunction have been implicated in the pathophysiology of gastroparesis and functional dyspepsia, respectively. New treatments for functional dyspepsia may target low-grade duodenal inflammation and barrier dysfunction. The pylorus remains a target in gastroparesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dyspepsia* / diagnosis
  • Dyspepsia* / etiology
  • Dyspepsia* / therapy
  • Esophageal Achalasia*
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Gastroparesis* / diagnosis
  • Gastroparesis* / etiology
  • Gastroparesis* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Pylorus