Nutr Clin Pract. 2020 Dec 18. doi: 10.1002/ncp.10611. Online ahead of print.
Gastroparesis (GP) is commonly seen in hospitalized patients. Refractory vomiting and related dehydration, electrolyte abnormalities, and malnutrition are indications for hospital admission. In addition, tube feeding intolerance is a common sign of gastric dysmotility in critically ill patients. The diagnosis and management of GP in the hospital setting can be quite challenging. Diagnostic tests are often deferred because of patient intolerance of the oral meal for standard scintigraphy or severity of the primary disease. The diagnosis of GP is often established on the basis of clinical scenario and risk factors for gastric motor dysfunction. Medical therapy in GP is directed toward controlling nausea and vomiting by prokinetic and antinausea medications and correcting nutrition risks or treating malnutrition with nutrition therapy. Enteral nutrition is the preferred nutrition intervention for patients with GP. Delayed gastric emptying in critically ill patients has a negative impact on the timely delivery of enteral feeding and meeting the energy and protein goals. Measures to improve gastric tolerance or provide feeding beyond the stomach are often needed, since early enteral nutrition has been an important target of therapy for critically ill patients. This review will address the current understanding of the mechanisms of GP and feeding intolerance in critical illness, diagnostic workup, drug therapies, and interventions to improve the provision of enteral nutrition in hospital settings when gastric dysmotility is present or suspected.