Gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiac vagal tone in type 1 diabetes correlates with gut transit times and motility index

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BACKGROUND: Although gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are common in diabetes, they frequently do not correlate with measurable sensorimotor abnormalities. The wireless motility capsule (WMC) measures pressure, temperature, and pH as it traverses the GI tract wherefrom transit times and motility indices are derived. The aim was to investigate whether GI symptoms correlate with changes in (a) segmental transit times, (b) segmental motility index, (c) cardiac vagal tone, or (d) presence/absence of peripheral neuropathy in type 1 diabetes.

METHODS: Gastrointestinal symptoms in 104 participants with type 1 diabetes were measured using Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptoms Index and Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale. All underwent standardized WMC investigation measuring segmental transit time and motility. Cardiac vagal tone and presence of peripheral neuropathy were measured using electrocardiographic and nerve conduction velocity testing.

KEY RESULTS: Colonic transit time was correlated with postprandial fullness (P = .01) and constipation (P = .03), while decreased colonic motility index was correlated with diarrhea (P = .01) and decreased bloating (P < .05). Symptoms were not correlated with gastric or small bowel transit time or motility index. In participants with low cardiac vagal tone, gastric motility index (P < .01) and colonic transit time (P < .05) were increased, but not in those with peripheral neuropathy. Abdominal pain was decreased with both peripheral neuropathy (P = .04) and decreased cardiac vagal tone (P = .02).

CONCLUSIONS AND INFERENCES: This study supports the rationale for whole gut investigation, using not only transit times but incorporating contractility indices as well. Furthermore, a decreased parasympathetic modulation and an increased hyposensate state appear to be present in type 1 diabetes.

TidsskriftNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2021


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