Relationship of motor mechanisms to gastroparesis symptoms: Toward individualized treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Following a classical paper by Dr. Keith A. Kelly published in this journal, and over the past 40 years, there has been increased understanding of the functions of different regions of the stomach, specifically the fundus, antrum, and pylorus. Several of the important physiological principles were based on in vivo animal studies that led to the appreciation of regional function and control mechanisms. These include the roles of the extrinsic parasympathetic vagal innervation, the gastric enteric nervous system and electrical syncytium consisting of pacemaker cells and smooth muscle cells, and duodenogastric reflexes providing feedback regulation following the arrival of food and hydrogen ions stimulating the release of hormones and vagal afferent mechanisms that inhibit gastric motility and stimulate pyloric contractility. Further insights on the role of regional motor functions in gastric emptying were obtained from observations in patients following diverse gastric surgeries or bariatric procedures, including fundoplication, Billroth I and sleeve gastrectomy, and sleeve gastroplasty. Antropyloroduodenal manometry and measurements of pyloric diameter and distensibility index provided important assessments of the role of antral hypomotility and pylorospasm, and these constitute specific targets for individualized treatment of patients with gastroparesis. Moreover, in patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms suggestive of gastroparesis, the availability of measurements of gastric accommodation and pharmacological agents to reduce gastric sensitivity or enhance gastric accommodation provide additional specific targets for individualized treatment. It is anticipated that, in the future, such physiological measurements will be applied in patients to optimize choice of therapy, possibly including identifying the best candidate for pyloric interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G558-G563
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Accommodation
  • Antrum
  • Fundus
  • G-POEM
  • Pylorus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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