Benefit of Uncooked Cornstarch in the Management of Children With Dumping Syndrome Fed Exclusively by Gastrostomy

Borovoy, Jacobo; Furuta, Lauren; Nurko, Samuel
May 1998
American Journal of Gastroenterology;May1998, Vol. 93 Issue 5, p814
Academic Journal
Objectives: Children with dumping syndrome fed exclusively by gastrostomy are difficult to manage because liquid diets are given directly into the antrum. The gastric contents are emptied rapidly into the small intestine, with consequent hyperglycemia followed by a delayed hypoglycemia and multiple, often debilitating, symptoms. Uncooked cornstarch is a complex carbohydrate that provides a slow and continuous glucose source and may delay gastric emptying. The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of uncooked cornstarch in the treatment of these children. Methods: The medical records of eight children with dumping syndrome fed exclusively by gastrostomy were reviewed. Dumping syndrome was diagnosed if there was consistent symptomatology, rapid gastric emptying, and abnormal glucose measurements after a glucose tolerance test. Enough uncooked cornstarch to match hepatic glucose production for 4 h was added to control hypoglycemia, and the feeding formula was modified to control hyperglycemia. Results: All patients had debilitating symptoms. Weight z-score on admission was -2.31 ± 0.29. Glucose shifts were controlled in all. There was a significant difference between the maximum (221.3 ± 19.3 mg/dl vs 121.3 ± 6.9 mg/dl; p ≤ 0.008) and minimum serum glucose (47 ± 7.8 mg/dl vs 65.6 ± 4 mg/di; p ≤ 0.04) before and after uncooked cornstarch. Weight increased from 11.87 ± 1.4 kg to 15.10 ± 2.3 kg (p = 0.06). In seven patients, bolus feedings were successfully administered, and symptoms improved or resolved. Conclusions: Uncooked cornstarch controlled the glucose shifts, resolved most of the symptoms, allowed bolus feedings, and enhanced weight gain in these children.


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