Ten controversies in gastroparesis and a look to the future

Gabriela Piovezani Ramos, Michael Camilleri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Gastroparesis is a complex, challenging gastrointestinal disorder presenting with upper gastrointestinal symptoms, especially nausea and vomiting, with significant impact on patients' quality of life. After ruling out mechanical obstruction, it is essential to identify delay in gastric emptying for definitive diagnosis. The most common causes are idiopathic (no identified etiology), diabetes mellitus, and postsurgical status. Management of gastroparesis focuses on dietary modifications and treatment directed to symptom relief. Unfortunately, approximately one-third of patients are refractory to pharmacological therapy, and the effectiveness of the few nonpharmacological options has been questioned. Purpose: Extensive review of the literature identifies several uncertainties or controversies regarding the differential diagnosis based on the spectrum of symptoms, the lack of availability of reliable diagnostic test, and questions regarding effective therapeutic options. In this review, we discuss ten controversies regarding gastroparesis: clinical presentation, diagnosis, overlap syndromes, pathophysiology, etiology, as well as pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapeutic options. In addition, we briefly review studies exploring pathological, inflammatory, and molecular disturbances affecting the intrinsic neuromuscular elements that may be involved in the pathophysiology of gastroparesis and may constitute possible therapeutic targets in the future. Finally, we tabulate future research opportunities to resolve these controversies in the management of patients with gastroparesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14494
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • diagnosis
  • dyspepsia
  • gastroparesis
  • molecular
  • nutrition
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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