The relationship between delayed gastric emptying and upper GI symptoms (UGI Sx) is controversial.
To assess association between gastric emptying and UGI Sx, independent of treatment.
We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature from 2007 to 2017, review of references and additional papers identified by content expert. We included studies evaluating the association between gastric emptying and nausea, vomiting, early satiety/postprandial fullness, abdominal pain and bloating. Covariate analyses included optimal gastric emptying test method, gastricemptying type (breath test or scintigraphy) and patient category. Meta-regression compared the differences based on type of gastric emptyingtests.
Systematic review included 92 gastric emptying studies (26 breath test, 62 scintigraphy, 1 ultrasound and 3 wireless motility capsule); 25 of these studies provided quantitative data for meta-analysis (15 scintigraphy studies enrolling 4056 participants and 10 breath test studies enrolling 2231 participants). Meta-regression demonstrated a significant difference between optimal and suboptimal gastricemptying test methods when comparing delayed gastric emptying with nausea and vomiting. On evaluating studies using optimal gastricemptying test methodology, there were significant associations between gastric emptying and nausea (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 1.8), vomiting (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.6 to 2.7), abdominal pain (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.0 to 2.2) and early satiety/fullness (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.6) for patients with UGI Sx; gastric emptying and early satiety/fullness in patients with diabetes; gastric emptying and nausea in patients with gastroparesis.
The systematic review and meta-analysis supports an association between optimally measured delayed gastric emptyingand UGI Sx.