The relationship among gastroparetic symptoms, quality of life, and gastric emptying in patients referred for gastric emptying testing

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Abstract

Background

Symptoms suggestive of gastroparesis are non-specific and conflicting reports exist regarding the ability of symptoms to predict the presence of gastroparesis. Our aim, therefore, was to evaluate the relationships between gastroparetic symptoms and their impact on quality of life and determine their relationship with clinical factors and gastric emptying.

Methods

Gastric emptying scintigraphy, sociodemographic features, health care resource utilization, gastroparetic symptoms, and quality of life using validated questionnaires were obtained from consecutive patients referred for gastric emptying testing (GET). Descriptive analyses were conducted and logistic regression was performed to evaluate associations with abnormal gastric emptying after controlling for other covariates.

Key Results

Two hundred and sixty-six patients participated (195 females; mean age, 49.1 ± 17.6 years); 75% met Rome III criteria for functional dyspepsia. Gastric emptying was delayed in 28.2% at 4 h; the delay was mild in 48%, moderate in 20% and severe in 32%. Nausea/emesis and postprandial fullness, but not bloating, were significantly greater in those with delayed emptying. Postprandial fullness was most severe. Weak correlations were identified between symptom severity and the severity of gastric emptying delay. Quality of life was also lower in the delayed emptying group. Logistic regression analysis demonstrated associations between delayed gastric emptying and lower quality of life and increased symptom severity.

Conclusions & Inferences

In patients referred for GET, gastroparetic symptoms were more severe in those with delayed emptying. A decrease in quality of life in those with delayed gastric emptying was also present; this was not related to the severity of the delay in gastric emptying.

Symptoms suggestive of gastroparesis are non-specific and conflicting reports exist regarding the ability of symptoms to predict the presence of gastroparesis. Gastric emptying scintigraphy, sociodemographic features, health care resource utilization, gastroparetic symptoms, and quality of life using validated questionnaires were obtained from consecutive patients referred for GET. Patients with delayed gastric emptying had more severe gastroparetic symptoms when assessed both prior to and during the GET. They also had a decrease in both generic and disease-specific quality of life.

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