Yield of Endoscopy in Pediatric Gastroparesis

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The aim of the study was to quantify the diagnostic yield of upper endoscopy in children with gastroparesis and to develop a clinical model for gastroparesis using common symptoms and screening blood tests.


We retrospectively reviewed charts of 196 patients of age 4 to 18 years evaluated for gastroparesis between 2009 and 2013. All patients completed a standard solid-phase gastric emptying scan and upper endoscopy within a 12-month period. We analyzed gross and histologic endoscopy findings. Symptom-based data were collected on dyspeptic symptoms and classic “red-flag” symptoms.


Seventy patients with gastroparesis and 126 controls were included. Clinically significant endoscopic findings were noted in 35% of controls (44/126) and 43% of gastroparetics (30/70), P = 0.345. Concordance between gross and histologic findings was low at 50%. Histologic findings included gastritis 60% (17/28), esophagitis 39% (11/28), and duodenitis 7% (2/28). In univariate and multivariate analyses, there was no meaningful correlation between symptoms and/or screening laboratory values and diagnosis of gastroparesis.


Clinically significant endoscopy findings were common in both controls and gastroparetics. As more than one-third of patients had findings on endoscopy, we conclude that upper endoscopy remains an important part of the evaluation process of patients with dyspeptic symptoms and suspected gastroparesis. As gross abnormalities were frequently not present with histologic changes, routine biopsy is required. There was no association between studied symptoms and the presence of gastroparesis. A comprehensive evaluation of children with dyspeptic symptoms requires endoscopy with biopsy and solid-phase gastric emptying scan to determine the underlying diagnosis.

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