Although the definition of gastroparesis in children is the same as in adults, there are key differences between gastroparesis in these two populations in presentation, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes. Infants and younger children with gastroparesis tend to be male, present with vomiting as their primary symptom and are more likely to experience the resolution of their symptoms over time. Adolescents with gastroparesis tend to be female, present with abdominal pain as their primary symptom and have a less favorable short- and medium-term outcome, sharing some similarities with adults with gastroparesis. Despite the fact that validated diagnostic criteria for gastroparesis are lacking in infants and younger children, these age groups make up nearly half of children with gastroparesis in some studies. The diagnosis and treatment of children with gastroparesis has thus far relied heavily on research studies performed in adults, but it is becoming increasingly clear that gastroparesis in children is a distinct entity and there are limitations to the applicability of data obtained from adults to the care of children.
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