Functional Dyspepsia and Gastroparesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: Upper gastrointestinal disorders typically present with common symptoms. The most relevant non-mucosal diseases are gastroparesis, functional dyspepsia and rumination syndrome. The literature pertaining to these 3 conditions was reviewed. Key Messages: Gastroparesis is characterized by delayed gastric emptying in the absence of mechanical obstruction of the stomach. The cardinal symptoms include postprandial fullness (early satiety), nausea, vomiting and bloating. The most frequently encountered causes of these symptoms are mechanical obstruction (pyloric stenosis), iatrogenic disease, gastroparesis, functional dyspepsia, cyclical vomiting and rumination syndrome. The most common causes of gastroparesis are neuropathic disorders such as diabetes, idiopathic, post-vagotomy and scleroderma among myopathic disorders. Principles of management of gastroparesis include exclusion of mechanical obstruction with imaging and iatrogenic causes with careful medication and past surgical history. Prokinetics and anti-emetics are the mainstays of treatment. Functional dyspepsia is characterized by the same symptoms as gastroparesis; in addition to delayed gastric emptying, pathophysiological abnormalities include accelerated gastric emptying, impaired gastric accommodation and gastric or duodenal hypersensitivity to distension and nutrients. Novel treatments include tricyclic antidepressants in patients with normal gastric emptying, acotiamide (acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor) and 5-HT1A receptor agonists such as buspirone. Rumination syndrome is characterized by repetitive regurgitation of gastric contents occurring within minutes after a meal. Episodes often persist for 1-2 h after the meal, and the regurgitant consists of partially digested food that is recognizable in its taste. Regurgitation is typically effortless or preceded by a sensation of belching. This has been summarized as a 'meal in, meal out, day in, day out' behavior for weeks or months, differentiating rumination from gastroparesis. Patients often have a background of psychological disorder or a prior eating disorder. Treatment is based on behavioral modification. Conclusion: Precise identification of the cause and pathophysiology of upper gastrointestinal symptoms is essential for optimal management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-499
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Regurgitation
  • Rumination
  • Vomiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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