Gastric emptying is more rapid in adolescents with type 1 diabetes and impacts on postprandial glycemia

Shiree J. Perano, Chris K. Rayner, Stamatiki Kritas, Michael Horowitz, Kim Donaghue, Christine Mpundu-Kaambwa, Lynne Giles, Jenny J. Couper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Context: Gastric emptying is a critical determinant of postprandial glycemic control in health and type 1 diabetes. There are few studies that assess the relationship between gastric emptying and postprandial glycaemia in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. Objective: The objectives of the study were to quantify gastric emptying in adolescents with type 1 diabetes and examine its relationship to postprandial glycaemia and autonomic function. Design: This was a case-control study. Gastric half-emptying time of a solid meal was measured by a13C-octanoate breath test. Cardio-autonomic function was measured by heart rate variability. Chronic and postprandial gastrointestinal symptoms were evaluated by questionnaire and visual analog scales. Blood glucose concentrations were monitored frequently during the study. Setting: The study was conducted at a tertiary pediatric hospital in South Australia. Participants: Thirty adolescents (aged 15 ± 2.5 y) with type 1 diabetes and age- and sex-matched controls (gastric emptying, n = 20; heart rate variability, n = 135) participated in the study. Main Outcome: Gastric half-emptying time was the main outcome in the study. Results: Gastric emptying was more rapid in subjects with type 1 diabetes than controls [median half emptying time 78 (interquartile range 61-99) vs 109 (interquartile range 71-124) min, P = .02]. The postprandial rise in blood glucose at 60 minutes was strongly related to gastric half-emptying time (R = -0.65, P = .0001). Gastric emptying was slower in subjects with fasting hyperglycemia but was not related to heart rate variability. Nausea, bloating, and anxiety were related to fasting glycemia (P = .03). Conclusion: Rapid gastric emptying is a major determinant of postprandial glycemia in adolescents with type 1 diabetes. This observation has significant implications for therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2248-2253
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • gastric emptying
  • postprandial glycemic control


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