Gastroparesis and dyspepsia in patients with diabetes mellitus

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1995 Aug;7(8):717-23.


About one-half of patients with insulin- or non-insulin-dependent diabetes have delayed gastric emptying (diabetic gastroparesis). Some of them complain of epigastric pain, nausea, vomiting or postprandial fullness (diabetic dyspepsia), although only a minority are severely symptomatic. Diabetic gastroparesis is clinically relevant not only by virtue of the symptoms induced but also because it may contribute to inadequate glycaemic control and impaired absorption of orally administered drugs. Recent data suggest that abnormal blood glucose control, not only autonomic neuropathy, contribute to the pathogenesis of disordered gastric motility. In most cases diabetic gastroparesis is diagnosed clinically in the absence of demonstrable lesions of the upper gastrointestinal tract. To evaluate gastric emptying, scintigraphy is the 'gold standard'. Gastrokinetic drugs are of help in the treatment of gastroparesis: erythromycin is the first choice in acute presentations and cisapride for chronic symptoms. New macrolides with prokinetic action and devoid of antibacterial properties are very promising and should add another pharmacologic approach to control dyspepsia and gastroparesis in diabetic patients in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Dyspepsia / diagnosis
  • Dyspepsia / etiology*
  • Dyspepsia / therapy
  • Gastroparesis / diagnosis
  • Gastroparesis / etiology*
  • Gastroparesis / therapy
  • Humans