Gastric electrical stimulation for children with intractable nausea and gastroparesis

Saleem Islam, Laura R. Vick, Matthew J. Runnels, John R. Gosche, Thomas Abell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Gastric electrical stimulation (GES) has been performed in adults as a treatment of refractory nausea and vomiting in patients who have failed medical treatment, but has not been used in children. Methods: Nine patients with chronic nausea and vomiting with a mean age of 14 years were evaluated for temporary GES. All 9 patients subsequently underwent placement of a temporary followed by permanent GES device. Symptoms were recorded at baseline, after temporary GES, and then after permanent GES using a Likert scale for gastroparesis. Statistical analysis was performed using a paired Student's t test. Results: At baseline, all patients were symptomatic and most had delayed solid gastric emptying. As a group, there was a significant improvement in combined symptoms score (P = .04), nausea (P = .039), and vomiting (P = .0016). Gastric emptying and electrogastrogram values did not change significantly. Follow-up ranged from 8 to 42 months, with 7 of the 9 patients reporting sustained improvement in symptoms and improved quality of life. Conclusions: Gastric electrical stimulation can be successfully applied to adolescents with intractable nausea and gastroparesis symptoms who fail medical therapy. There is a significant improvement in symptoms over a prolonged period,and there are no adverse effects of the GES. Long-term efficacy of this therapy in children needs to be established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-442
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrogastrograms
  • Gastric electrical stimulation
  • Gastroparesis
  • Interstitial cells of Cajal


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