ThorS-MagNT for Grade 3 Diabetic Gastroparesis: Pilot Study
Diabetic gastroparesis (DG) is an under recognized and significant complication of diabetes with lack of effective treatments. Recently, a 4-fold increase in hospitalizations has been seen in DG patients with refractory symptoms, defined as Grade 3 gastroparesis. A critical barrier to progress has been both a lack of pathophysiological understanding of DG and absence of effective treatments. Diabetic autonomic neuropathy is felt to be a key dysfunction in DG that causes gastric atony and segmental hypomotility of the small intestine. Autonomic testing of DG patients reveals significant sympathetic hypofunction, a feature distinguishing DG from diabetics with normal gastric emptying. Therefore, stimulation of the thoracic dorsal roots of the greater splanchnic nerve (sympathetic stimulation) could enhance gastric motility, as observed in animal models, and improve DG. We have developed a novel, safe, noninvasive peripheral nerve treatment using repetitive magnetic stimulation, and have demonstrated improvement in fecal incontinence with neuropathy. The goal of this study is to build on our expertise to conduct a pilot, feasibility study by examining the effect of Thoracic Splanchnic Magnetic Neuromodulation Therapy (ThorS-MagNT) in patients with Grade 3 DG. The aims are to evaluate the safety, effectiveness and feasibility of ThorS-MagNT in patients with Grade 3 DG and to evaluate predictive factors of treatment. Our central hypothesis is that ThorS-MagNT will improve sympathetic hypofunction, gastric motility, and spino-gut interactions, and thereby, improve symptoms of DG. ThorS-MagNT will be performed in 12 patients hospitalized with severe DG by using low-frequency, low-intensity repetitive magnetic stimulation, bilaterally, around T7 intravertebral space, twice a day for 5 days, with a total 1200 magnetic stimulations per treatment session at 1 Hz. The primary outcome is responder rate, defined as =20% reduction in the Gastroparesis Cardinal Symptom Index-daily diary (ANMS GCSI-DD) score. Secondary outcomes include subscores of the ANMS GSCI-DD, effects on gastric emptying time, Patient Global Impression of Improvement (PGI-I), safety, and tolerability. The impact of this work is to develop a novel, safe, and non-invasive treatment for severe DG that could result in a paradigm shift in management of DG.