Gastroparesis in children

Document Type

Review Article


Paediatric Surgery


Purpose of review: Gastroparesis is a disorder with delayed gastric emptying in the absence of mechanical obstruction. It is one of the more common dysmotilities that occur in the gastrointestinal tract, and is thought to primarily affect adults. Pediatric cases of gastroparesis were considered rare; however, recent evidence suggests growing recognition in children and adolescents. Therefore, it is important for the pediatric caregiver to understand the condition and the treatment options available.
Recent findings: The majority of patients are women, and presentation is usually with symptoms of persistent nausea, emesis, postprandial pain and bloating, and early satiety. Weight loss may occur in some cases, though this is not universal. The majority of cases are idiopathic, with diabetes mellitus the second most common cause.
Summary: Treatment consists of symptomatic relief with medication to counteract the nausea, emesis, pain, bloating, gastroesophageal reflux, early satiety, and improve gastric emptying. Dietary modification is also used with small meals and avoidance of high fiber and fat-containing foods. Recalcitrant cases of gastroparesis require the use of additional approaches such as jejunal feeds, intrapyloric botulinum toxin, gastric emptying procedures such as pyloroplasty, and gastric electrical stimulation. We will review these options in this article.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Current Opinion in Pediatrics