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Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Contributors: Michael W. Winter MD, Christine Osborne MD, Nishant H. Patel MD, Desiree Rivera-Nieves MD, Khaled Bittar MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Gastroparesis is a disorder of delayed gastric emptying not caused by mechanical obstruction. Patients present with nausea, emesis, early satiety, bloating, and sometimes abdominal pain.

There are numerous etiologies of gastroparesis, but it is most commonly idiopathic. Diabetes mellitus as a cause of gastroparesis is increasing in prevalence. Additional etiologies include postsurgical vagal nerve injury, medication adverse effects, and other neurodegenerative or autoimmune diseases (eg, parkinsonism, AIDS, scleroderma). Narcotics, calcium channel blockers, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) antagonists, tricyclic antidepressants, octreotide, phenothiazines, and cyclosporine are medications that frequently cause delayed gastric emptying.

Evaluation for suspected gastroparesis may include imaging to exclude a bowel obstruction and a detailed history to delineate alternative causes of the patient's symptoms, which are nonspecific and overlap with numerous gastrointestinal conditions. Physical examination is often normal but may demonstrate a protuberant abdomen and a succussion splash.


K31.84 – Gastroparesis

235675006 – Gastroparesis

Look For

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Gastritis
  • Esophageal spasm (see Esophageal motility disorder)
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Celiac disease
  • Small bowel intestinal overgrowth
  • Achalasia (see Esophageal motility disorder)
  • Chronic mesenteric ischemia
  • Crohn disease
  • Malignancy (particularly Esophageal carcinoma, Gastric cancer, small bowel, Colon cancer, Pancreatic carcinoma, Liver cancer)
  • Biliary colic / Biliary calculus
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Tropical sprue
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Uterine fibroids (leiomyoma)

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Reviewed:09/26/2017
Last Updated:01/18/2021
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