Disturbed gastric motility in patients with long-standing diabetes mellitus

J Smooth Muscle Res. 2022;58(0):1-10. doi: 10.1540/jsmr.58.1.


Purpose: Gastric dysmotility has been reported in patients with long-standing diabetes mellitus (DM). Some patients with DM are diagnosed as diabetes gastroparesis and have several upper gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms such as appetite loss and abdominal pain. This study aimed to identify the relationship between gastric motility and upper GI symptoms in patients with long-standing DM.

Method: This study was conducted among 23 patients with DM and 15 healthy controls. All the patients with DM were receiving insulin treatment and had at least one history of incidence of diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy or neuropathy. Gastric motility was evaluated using electrogastrography (EGG) and gastric emptying using the 13C-acetic acid breath test. The most severe upper gastrointestinal symptoms were assessed in all patients.

Results: Compared to healthy controls, patients with long-standing DM showed a significantly lower percentage of normogastria at the postprandial state with a lower power ratio in EGG. Gastric emptying was significantly delayed in patients with DM in the overall analysis. Sixteen patients with DM (69.6%) demonstrated abnormalities in either gastric myoelectrical activity or gastric emptying. Among patients with abnormal EGG or delayed gastric emptying, 12 had some GI symptoms, compared with 3 patients with normal gastric motility. No significant correlation was observed between the gastric emptying parameters and HbA1c values.

Conclusion: Patients with long-standing DM showed gastric dysmotility, including impaired gastric myoelectrical activity and delayed gastric emptying. Gastric dysmotility appears to be closely correlated with upper GI symptoms in patients with long-standing DM.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus; electrogastrography; gastric emptying; gastric myoelectrical activity; gastrointestinal symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases* / etiology
  • Gastroparesis* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Postprandial Period