Gastric emptying in head-injured patients

Chia Hung Kao*, Sheng Ping Changlai, Poon Ung Chieng, Tzu Chen Yen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

156 Scopus citations


Objective: Most patients with moderate to severe head injury (HI) initially do not tolerate enteral feedings. Intolerance to nasogastric feeding is also commonly observed after HI. Quantitative measurements of gastric emptying (GE), to determine a possible mechanism for intolerance to enteral feeding, are lacking. Methods: We prospectively evaluated gastric emptying half-time (GET1/2) of liquid meals in 35 patients with moderate to severe HI. Results: In comparison with 16 age-matched healthy control subjects (29.4 ± 3.7 min), GET1/2 was significantly prolonged (57.2 ± 20.8 min, p < 0.05) and abnormal in 80% of the HI patients. A prolonged GET1/2 and higher incidence of abnormal GET1/2 were observed in female patients, older patients, and patients with low Glasgow coma scale (GCS) scores, when compared with male patients, younger patients, and patients with high GCS scores. However, the differences for the means of GET1/2 and the incidences of abnormal GET1/2 between the subgroup patients were not significant (p >0.05). In addition, significantly prolonged GET1/2 and higher incidence of abnormal GET1/2 (p < 0.05) were observed in patients with short injury duration, in comparison with patients with long injury duration. Conclusion: Head injury can cause significant prolonged GE of liquid meals, especially in patients with short injury duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1108-1112
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 07 1998


Dive into the research topics of 'Gastric emptying in head-injured patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this