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Electrical stimulation for gastroparesis

William L Hasler, MD
Section Editor
Nicholas J Talley, MD, PhD
Deputy Editor
Shilpa Grover, MD, MPH, AGAF


Gastroparesis is defined as a delay in gastric emptying that produces nausea, vomiting, bloating, early satiety, and discomfort. In severe cases, nausea and vomiting may cause weight loss, dehydration, electrolyte disturbances, and malnutrition due to inadequate caloric and fluid intake.

Management of gastroparesis consists of supportive measures (eg, hydration and nutrition), optimizing glycemic control in patients with diabetes mellitus, medications, and occasionally surgical therapy. The limited efficacy of these options for patients with severe gastroparesis has provided a rationale for the development of novel approaches for treatment.

This topic review will provide an overview of the methods of electrical stimulation of gastric motor activity for gastroparesis and their efficacy in treating gastroparesis. The pathophysiology, etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of gastroparesis are discussed separately. (See "Gastroparesis: Etiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis" and "Pathogenesis of delayed gastric emptying" and "Treatment of gastroparesis".)


The emptying of gastric contents after a meal is controlled by specific motor and myoelectric activities of different regions of the stomach.

The proximal stomach exhibits changes in tone in response to eating, which serve initially to accommodate the ingested bolus and then, as digestion progresses, to regulate delivery of food particles into the distal stomach [1,2].

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 12, 2017.
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