Diabetic gastroparesis: Functional/morphologic background, diagnosis, and treatment options

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29 Citations (Scopus)


The regulation of gastrointestinal motility mainly involves the smooth muscle, neural (extrinsic and intrinsic), and hormonal elements, the glial cells, and the interstitial cells of Cajal. An orchestrated function of all these components is required for the appropriate propulsive movement of the food in the gastrointestinal tract. Gastroparesis, a pathological slowing-down of gastric emptying, is a result of the damage to the tissue elements involved in the regulation of motility. Gastroparesis is one of the well-known complications of longstanding diabetes mellitus. Although it is rarely a lifethreatening complication, it has a deteriorating effect on the quality of life, leads to unpredictable oscillation of the blood glucose level, and increases the time required for the absorption of food and medicines. This review describes the clinical characteristics of diabetic gastroparesis and summarizes the organic and functional motility abnormalities caused by this complication. Finally, the currently available and potential future therapeutic approaches are summarized.

Original languageEnglish
Article number527
JournalCurrent diabetes reports
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetic gastroparesis
  • Gastroparesis
  • Interstitial cells of Cajal
  • Neural elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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