We have investigated the effect of oral cisapride (10 mg t.i.d.) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in 26 patients with upper gut dysmotility: 11 with gastroparesis (8 diabetic, 3 idiopathic) and 15 with chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudoobstruction. Patients were evaluated at entry and at the end of the 6-wk study by upper gastrointestinal manometry, scintigraphic evaluation of gastric emptying of solids and liquids, measurement of body weight, and scoring of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, early satiety, bloating, and distention. Cisapride and placebo groups were strictly comparable for all parameters assessed. Cisapride resulted in a significant increase in the gastric emptying of solids (p < 0.05) compared with placebo; cisapride also tended to increase the postcibal antral motility and normalize the abnormal manometric features in the patients with intestinal dysmotility, particularly the characteristics of fasting interdigestive motor complexes and the fed motor pattern. Both cisapride and placebo groups showed an improvement in total symptom scores and there was no significant difference in overall symptom response between the two groups. However, the change in abdominal pain was greater with cisapride (p = 0.07). Cisapride facilitates gastric emptying in patients with upper gut dysmotility. The overall symptomatic benefit during a 6-wk trial of cisapride, 10 mg t.i.d., was not greater than that of placebo, and dose-response as well as longer term trials are necessary to determine the clinical efficacy of this medication.
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