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July 20, 1963

Acute Diabetic Gastric Atony: Gastroparesis Diabetacorum

Author Affiliations

Wheeling, W.Va.

From the departments of radiology and internal medicine, Ohio Valley General Hospital.

JAMA. 1963;185(3):214-216. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060030072036

THE PUBLISHED OBSERVATIONS of gastric atony occurring in diabetic patients leave one confused as to the significance and clinical course of this condition. The standard reference books1 on diabetes mellitus refer to gastric atony only in connection with diabetic coma or precoma states. Kassander2 in a recent article used the term "gastroparesis diabetacorum" to describe cases of asymptomatic gastric dilatation and retention occurring in patients with peripheral diabetic neuropathy. Kassander, and Gould and McAfee3 have theorized that this condition is due to visceral diabetic neuropathy involving the vagus nerve, since the clinical and radiographic findings are similar to those seen in patients who have undergone vagotomy. More recently, Wooten and Meriweather4 have described gastric atony which, in some instances, was abrupt in onset and associated with considerable difficulty of diabetic control. However, some of their cases were patients in diabetic acidosis. The gastric atony which they