Background: Drug-refractory gastroparesis has previously been without acceptable alternative therapies. Although gastric electrical stimulation has been used for over a decade, no long-term multicenter data exist. Methods: We studied 214 consecutive drug-refractory patients with the symptoms of gastroparesis (146 idiopathic, 45 diabetic, 23 after surgery) who consented to participate in a variety of clinical research and clinical protocols at three centers from January 1992 through January 2005, resulting in 156 patients implanted with a gastric electrical stimulation device and the other 58 patients serving as controls. The patients were stratified into three groups: (1) consented but never permanently implanted; (2) implanted with permanent device, and (3) consented while awaiting a permanent device. The patients were followed over time for gastrointestinal symptoms, solid gastric emptying, health-related quality of life, survival, device retention, and complications. Demographics, descriptive statistics, and t tests were used for comparison between baseline and latest follow-up. Results: At latest follow-up, median 4 years for 5,568 patient months, most patients implanted (135 of 156) were alive with intact devices, significantly reduced gastrointestinal symptoms, and improved health-related quality of life, with evidence of improved gastric emptying, and 90% of the patients had a response in at least 1 of 3 main symptoms. Most patients explanted, usually for pocket infections, were later reimplanted successfully. There were no deaths directly related to the device. Conclusion: Based on this sample of patients, implanted with gastric electrical stimulation devices at three centers and followed for up toward a decade, gastric electrical stimulation for drug-refractory gastroparesis is both safe and effective.
- Drug-refractory gastroparesis
- Gastric electrical stimulation
- Long-term multicenter study, gastroparesis
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