Norovirus-induced Gastroparesis

Kaylyn N Sawin-Johnson, Clifford D Packer
Curēus 2019 December 3, 11 (12): e6283
Postviral gastroparesis can result from a variety of viral infections and may cause severe, persistent gastrointestinal symptoms. We report the case of an 85-year-old man with one year of persistent nausea, epigastric pain, early satiety, and 25-pound weight loss after an episode of viral gastroenteritis contracted on a cruise ship. The patient reported that he had tested positive for norovirus shortly after the onset of symptoms. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy revealed no abnormalities, and his symptoms persisted despite treatment for a positive serum H. pylori IgG antibody. Lab workup, including hemoglobin A1c, was otherwise normal, and computed tomography (CT) angiography was unremarkable. A gastric emptying study performed one year after the onset of illness revealed moderate gastroparesis. While most cases of postviral gastroparesis resolve within a year or less, there are a few reports of gastroparetic symptoms lasting two to three years or longer. The pathophysiology might involve a slowly reversible injury to gut neuromodulator cells. Antiviral treatment has not been shown to be effective; symptomatic treatment with antiemetic and prokinetic drugs may be helpful in some cases.


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