Diabetes is the 2nd most common cause of delayed gastric emptying in adults. As a result, patients with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk of gastric motor abnormalities that can include delayed gastric emptying (gastroparesis) and the related symptoms. Limited information exists regarding presence of gastric motility disorders in youth with type 1 diabetes. An improved understanding of whether these gastric motility symptoms are present may influence screening, diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life.

A cross sectional study was conducted to assess symptoms suggestive of gastroparesis in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes using the standardized Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index (GCSI) questionnaire. The GCSI consists of 9 questions to assess the presence and severity of gastric motility symptoms. Severity is rated from none (0) to very severe (5) using a likert scale and three symptom subscale (presence of nausea/vomiting, fullness/early satiety, and bloating). The total GCSI score is calculated as the mean of the three subscales. A GCSI score ≥ 1.9 has been associated with delayed gastric emptying.

Initial data from 247 patients with type 1 diabetes; mean±SD age 18.1±3.4 years (range 15-20 years old), 61% female, 90% Caucasian, duration of the disease 8.4 ±5.3 years, A1c 8.1±1.8% who answered the GCSI questionnaire found 190 (77%) had at least one symptom associated with gastric motility disorder. Nausea was the most common symptom (75%) followed by stomach fullness (63%). Of those with at least one positive symptom, 37 (20%) had a score ≥ 1.9. Those with a GCSI score ≥ 1.9 were older (19.5 vs. 17.8, p=0.008), but there was no association with race, sex, body mass index, duration of the disease, or glycemic control, as measured by HbA1c.

Gastrointestinal symptoms suggestive of gastric motor abnormalities, as measured by the GCSI questionnaire are present in youth with type 1 diabetes. Older patients may be at higher risk.


G. Mashali: None. A. A. Kaul: None. L. M. Dolan: None. J. C. Khoury: None. A. S. Shah: None.

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