Gastric electrical stimulation (GES) represents a new therapy in patients with intractable vomiting and nausea. We aimed to determine preoperative factors associated with positive response during GES. Thirty-three consecutive patients received implants for medically refractory nausea or vomiting or both.
Symptoms, Quality of Life (QOL), and gastric emptying (GE) were monitored before and 6 months after implantation. Compared with baseline, dyspeptic symptoms including nausea and vomiting, and QOL all improved at 6 months, yielding a significant weight gain while the GE rate remained unchanged. Twenty-four patients reported improvement; nine remained unimproved at 6 months.
In multivariate analysis, baseline QOL and appetite alterations were predictive of improvement; previous history of gastric surgery was associated with failure. Surprisingly, patients with initial delayed GE (21 of 33) displayed similar improvement compared with patients with normal GE. Likewise, basal GE was not found to be predictive of positive outcomes, QOL, or symptoms improvement.
Patients with severe symptoms and altered QOL at inclusion particularly benefit from GES; delay in GE is not predictive of positive outcomes. This suggests that indication for GES should be based on clinical settings rather than initial GE, and then possibly extended to patients with normal GE.