To evaluate the effect of the erythromycin derivative EM523L on gastric emptying and postprandial insulin requirement in insulin-dependent diabetic patients with severe gastroparesis.


In six IDDM patients with severe gastroparesis (two men and four women, mean age 44.5 years [range 36–53]), the insulin infusion pattern during feedback control with an artificial endocrine pancreas device (Biostator) after intake of a test meal, the retention rate of residual isotope (99mTc-labelled Sn-colloid) in the stomach, and the time-concentration curve of plasma acetaminophen as the marker for liquid emptying were studied with EM523L or a control placebo


Time courses of insulin infusion rates peaked within 120 min after intake of the test meal in the EM523L phase, whereas no apparent peak rates were observed in the control phase. The total amount of insulin required in the first 90 min postprandial was significantly greater in the EM523L phase than in the control phase. EM523L significantly decreased the residual isotope ratio in the stomach at ≥50 min postprandial and increased the plasma acetaminophen concentrations at 30–120 min postprandial, compared with respective values in the control phase.


Preliminary results obtained from a small number of patients suggest that EM523L or erythromycin analogs, which have agonistic activity to motilin receptors as well as no antibacterial effect, may be useful to accelerate gastric emptying and improve insulin requirement patterns, thereby establishing more stable glycemic control.

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