The prevalence of diabetes mellitus, which is the most common chronic disease the world over, is over 10% in Taiwan.
Gastroparesis is reported in 5% to 12% of diabetic patients. Superior mesenteric artery (SMA) syndrome is an uncommon disease resulting compression of the third portion of the duodenum from the superior mesenteric artery. However, SMA syndrome can cause the same symptoms as diabetic gastroparesis.
A research team, led by Dr. Wen-Ming Wang from Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital reported a rare etiology of superior mesenteric artery syndrome. Their study will be published on December 21, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology
Their report suggest that diabetic patients with gastrointestinal symptoms and bodyweight loss should be considered for SMA syndrome, despite the gastroparesis is the most common etiology. Computed tomography and upper gastrointestinal series are the reliable tools for diagnosis. Adequate nutrition supply is a useful treatment and the aim is bodyweight gain and symptom relief. Surgery is indicated when conservative treatment fails.