|MP 7.01.73||Gastric Electrical Stimulation|
|Original Policy Date
|Last Review Status/Date
Reviewed with literature search/8:2014
|Return to Medical Policy Index|
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Gastric electrical stimulation is performed using an implantable device designed to treat chronic drug-refractory nausea and vomiting secondary to gastroparesis of diabetic, idiopathic or post-surgical etiology. Gastric electrical stimulation has also been investigated as a treatment of obesity. The device may be referred to as a gastric pacemaker.
The evidence on the use of gastric electrical stimulation to treat gastroparesis is inadequate to permit conclusions about its efficacy. Three small randomized studies have been published on the treatment of gastroparesis. In 1 randomized study, only 33 patients recruited from 11 centers in the United States were included. There was no statistically significant improvement in symptoms for the entire study group compared with placebo, but positive results were reported for the subgroup of 17 patients with diabetic gastroparesis. In the second randomized study of 55 patients, weekly vomiting frequency (WVF) was significantly lower than baseline values at 1-year follow-up, but there was no difference in WVF between patients who had the device turned on or off during the 3-month crossover period. The third study reported improvements in vomiting frequency at 6 weeks and 12 months of follow-up compared with baseline, but did not demonstrate differences in WVF between patients who had the device turned on or off during the 3-month crossover period. The case series report improvements in symptoms, nutritional parameters, and quality of life. However, the lack of a control group precludes the conclusion that these changes are due to treatment with gastric electrical stimulation, given the variable natural history of gastroparesis and the expected placebo effect. Therefore, gastric electrical stimulation for the treatment of gastroparesis of diabetic, idiopathic, or postsurgical etiologies is considered investigational.
There has only been 1 published randomized study on gastric electrical stimulation for the treatment of obesity (SHAPE trial), which did not show any improvement in weight loss with gastric electrical stimulation. Case series publications are limited and insufficient to draw conclusions on health outcomes. Given the results of the SHAPE trial, gastric electrical stimulation for the treatment of obesity is
Gastroparesis is a chronic disorder of gastric motility characterized by delayed emptying of a solid meal. Symptoms include bloating, distension, nausea, and vomiting. When severe and chronic, gastroparesis can be associated with dehydration, poor nutritional status, and poor glycemic control in diabetic patients. While most commonly associated with diabetes, gastroparesis is also found in chronic pseudo- obstruction, connective tissue disorders, Parkinson disease, and psychological pathologic conditions. Some cases may not be associated with an identifiable cause, and are referred to as idiopathic gastroparesis. Treatment of gastroparesis includes prokinetic agents, such as metoclopramide, and antiemetic agents, such as metoclopramide, granisetron, or ondansetron. Severe cases may require enteral or total parenteral nutrition.
Gastric electrical stimulation, also referred to as gastric pacing, using an implantable device, has been investigated primarily as a treatment for gastroparesis. Currently available devices consist of a pulse generator, which can be programmed to provide electrical stimulation at different frequencies, connected to intramuscular stomach leads that are implanted during laparoscopy or open laparotomy. (See “Regulatory Status” section.)
Gastric electrical stimulation has also been investigated as a treatment of obesity as a technique to increase a feeling of satiety with subsequent reduced food intake and weight loss. The exact mechanisms resulting in changes in eating behavior are uncertain but may be related to neuro-hormonal modulation and/or stomach muscle stimulation. There are no gastric electrical stimulation devices approved by FDA for the treatment of obesity. The Transcend® Implantable Gastric Stimulation device, manufactured by Transneuronix Corporation and acquired by Medtronic in 2005, is currently available in Europe for treatment of obesity. Medtronic announced in December 2005 that the preliminary results of the Screened Health Assessment and Pacer Evaluation, or SHAPE trial, which was initiated by Transneuronix using the Transcend device, "did not meet the efficacy endpoint of a difference in mean excess weight loss at one year."
Currently, only 1 gastric electrical stimulator has received approval from FDA (see following note), the Gastric Electrical Stimulator (GES) system (now called Enterra™ Therapy System), manufactured by Medtronic, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN). The GES system consists of 4 components: the implanted pulse generator, 2 unipolar intramuscular stomach leads, the stimulator programmer, and the memory cartridge. With the exception of the intramuscular leads, all other components have been used in other implantable neurologic stimulators, such as spinal cord or sacral nerve stimulation. The intramuscular stomach leads are implanted either laparoscopically or during a laparotomy and are connected to the pulse generator, which is implanted in a subcutaneous pocket. The programmer sets the stimulation parameters, which are typically set at an “on” time of 0.1 second alternating with an “off” time of 5.0 second.
Note: The GES system received FDA approval through a humanitarian device exemption in March 2000 (HDE Approval H990014). This regulatory category was established in 1996 and only applies to devices intended to benefit fewer than 4000 patients. The approval process is similar to that of a premarket approval application (PMA) but is exempt from the effectiveness requirements of a PMA. Thus the application is not required to include results of scientifically valid clinical investigations but must contain sufficient information for FDA to determine that the device does not pose unreasonable or significant risk of illness or injury. A humanitarian use device may only be used in facilities that have an institutional review board to supervise clinical testing of the device.
Gastric electrical stimulation is considered investigational for the treatment of gastroparesis of diabetic, idiopathic or postsurgical etiology.
Gastric electrical stimulation is considered investigational for the treatment of obesity.
There are CPT codes that are specific to insertion of the gastric stimulation device:
43647: Laparoscopy, surgical; implantation or replacement of gastric neurostimulator electrodes, antrum
43648: revision or removal of gastric neurostimulator electrodes, antrum
43881: Implantation or replacement of gastric neurostimulator electrodes, antrum, open
43882: Revision or removal of gastric neurostimulator electrodes, antrum, open
64590: Insertion or replacement of peripheral or gastric neurostimulator pulse generator or receiver, direct, or inductive coupling
64595: Revision or removal of peripheral or gastric neurostimulator pulse generator or receiver
There are also specific codes for electronic analysis and programming of gastric neurostimulator pulse generator:
95980: Electronic analysis of implanted neurostimulator pulse generator system (e.g., rate, pulse amplitude and duration, configuration of wave form, battery status, electrode selectability, output modulation, cycling, impedance and patient measurements), gastric neurostimulator pulse generator/transmitter; intraoperative, with programming
95981: subsequent, without reprogramming
95982: subsequent, with reprogramming
Prior to 2012, when the procedure was performed in the treatment of obesity, there were specific category III CPT codes:
0155T: Laparoscopy, surgical; implantation or replacement of gastric stimulation electrodes, lesser curvature (i.e., morbid obesity)
0156T: revision or removal of gastric stimulation electrodes, lesser curvature (i.e., morbid obesity)
0157T: Laparotomy, implantation or replacement of gastric stimulation electrodes, lesser curvature (i.e., morbid obesity)
0158T: Laparotomy, revision or removal of gastric stimulation electrodes, lesser curvature (i.e., morbid obesity)
The CPT code book instructs that after January 1, 2012, laparoscopic procedures related to gastric stimulation electrodes for morbid obesity should be reported using code 43659 (unlisted laparoscopy procedure, stomach), and laparotomy procedures related to gastric stimulation electrodes for morbid obesity should be reported using 43999 (unlisted procedure, stomach).
The insertion of the gastric neurostimulator pulse generator is coded with 64590 and revision or removal of the pulse generator is coded with 64595, regardless of the indication.
The following HCPCS codes may be used:
L8680: Implantable neurostimulator electrode, each (implant requires 2 leads)
L8685: Implantable neurostimulator pulse generator, single array, rechargeable, includes extension
L8686: Implantable neurostimulator pulse generator, single array, non-rechargeable, includes extension
L8687: Implantable neurostimulator pulse generator, dual array, rechargeable, includes extension
L8688: Implantable neurostimulator pulse generator, dual array, non-rechargeable, includes extension
BlueCard/National Account Issues
State or federal mandates (eg, FEP) may dictate that all devices approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may not be considered investigational. Therefore, FDA-approved devices may be assessed only on the basis of their medical necessity.
This policy was originally created in December 2000 and was regularly updated with searches of the MEDLINE database. The most recent literature review was performed through July 1, 2014. The following is a summary of the key findings to date.
Permanent Gastric Electrical Stimulation for Gastroparesis
The evidence on gastric electrical stimulation (GES) for gastroparesis consists of 3 small randomized crossover trials, and numerous case series. The case series include several that report on medium and/or long-term use (>1 year of follow-up) of the device.
In a 2012 systematic review and meta-analysis, Chu et al1 evaluated 10 studies on GES for the treatment of gastroparesis. Included in the meta-analysis were 2 randomized controlled trials (RCT) by Abell et al2 and McCallum et al3 and 8 observational studies, totaling 601 patients who received GES for more than 1
month. The treatment arms of the RCTs were combined with the single-arm case series to give summary estimates of treatment effect. This review did not attempt to evaluate the RCTs separately from the case series and, therefore, did not attempt to make conclusions on the efficacy of GES compared with a control group.
The meta-analysis found gastric electrical stimulation significantly improved scores for total symptom severity, nausea severity, and vomiting severity. Gastric emptying times at 2 and 4 hours also significantly improved. In the subanalysis of 197 patients with diabetic gastroparesis, total symptom severity scores and gastric emptying at 2 and 4 hours significantly improved. In the subanalysis of 65 patients with idiopathic gastroparesis, total symptom severity scores and gastric emptying at 4 hours
significantly improved but not at 2 hours. In the subanalysis of 40 patients with postsurgical gastroparesis, total symptom severity scores and gastric emptying at 2 hours significantly improved but not at 4 hours. A subanalysis of nausea and vomiting severity scores was not presented. Infection (3.87%) was the most common complication followed by device migration (2.69%) and pain at the site of implant (0.67%). Other infrequent complications (1.18%) included peptic ulcer disease, electrode penetration of the stomach lumen, erosion of the skin after abdominal wall trauma, and implant wire-related small bowel obstruction. While this meta-analysis found GES provided significant benefit in gastroparesis treatment, interpretation of results must be made with caution, because most studies analyzed were low-quality observational studies. Only 2 studies had control groups, and the control groups of these RCTs were not included in the combined analysis.
The data presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) documenting the “probable benefit” of the GES system was based on a multicenter, double-blinded crossover study, the Worldwide Anti-Vomiting Electrical Stimulation Study (WAVESS). The study included 33 patients with intractable idiopathic or diabetic gastroparesis. The primary end point of the study was a reduction in vomiting frequency, as measured by patient diaries. In the initial phase of the study, all patients underwent implantation of the stimulator and were randomly and blindly assigned to stimulation on or stimulation off for the first month, with crossover to off and on during the second month. The baseline vomiting frequency was 47 episodes per month, which significantly declined in both on and off groups to 23 to 29 episodes, respectively. However, no significant differences were found in the number of vomiting episodes between the 2 groups, suggesting a placebo effect.
The final results of the WAVESS study were reported in 2003..2 Among those with idiopathic gastroparesis, there was a similar drop in vomiting frequency compared with baseline regardless of whether the device was turned on or off, suggesting a placebo effect. In contrast, in those with diabetic gastroparesis, compared with baseline, there was a small drop in vomiting frequency with the device turned off, compared with a larger drop in vomiting frequency with the device turned on. In the second open-label phase of the trial, all patients had their stimulators turned on for the remainder of the 6 to 12 months’ follow-up. During this period, the vomiting frequency declined in both the idiopathic and diabetic subgroups. The cause of this continuing decline is uncertain, related to either a placebo effect or some sort of long-term effect of gastric stimulation.
McCallum et al performed a multicenter prospective study to evaluate GES (Enterra therapy) in patients with chronic intractable nausea and vomiting from diabetic gastroparesis (DGP).3 In this study, 55 patients with refractory DGP (5.9 years of DGP) were given implants of the Enterra system. After surgery, all patients had the stimulator turned on for 6 weeks and then were randomly assigned to groups that had consecutive 3-month crossover periods with the device on or off. After this period, the device was turned on in all patients, and they were followed up unblinded for 4.5 months. During the initial 6-week phase with the stimulator turned on, the median reduction in weekly vomiting frequency (WVF) compared with baseline was 57%. There was no difference in WVF between patients who had the device turned on or off during the 3-month crossover period. At 1 year, the WVF of all patients was significantly lower than baseline values (median reduction, 68%; p<0.001). One of the patients had the device removed due to infection; 2 patients required surgical intervention due to lead-related problems.
In a later study, McCallum et al evaluated GES (Enterra system) in patients with chronic vomiting due to idiopathic gastroparesis in a randomized, double-blind crossover trial.5 In this study, 32 patients with nausea and vomiting associated with idiopathic gastroparesis, which was unresponsive or intoleratant to prokinetic and antiemetic drugs, received Enterra implants and had the device turned on for 6 weeks. Subsequently, 27 of these patients were randomized to have the device turned on or off for 2 consecutive 3 month periods. Twenty five of these subjects completed the randomized phase; of note, 2 subjects had the device turned on early, 2 subjects had randomization assignment errors, and 1 subject had missing diaries. During the initial 6-week on period, all subjects demonstrated improvements in their WVF, demonstrating a median reduction of 61.2% compared with baseline (17.3 episodes/week at baseline vs 5.5 episodes/week at 6 week postimplant, p<0.001). During the on-off crossover phase, subjects demonstrated no significant differences between the on and off phase in the study’s primary end point, median WVF (median 6.4 in the on phase vs 9.8 in the off phase; p=1.0). Among the 19 subjects who completed 12 months of follow up, there was an 87.1% reduction in median WVF compared with baseline (17.3 episodes/week at baseline vs 2 episodes/week at 12-month follow-up, p<0.001). Two subjects required surgical intervention for lead migration/dislodgement or neurostimulator migration.
Three small, crossover RCTs have been performed on GES for gastroparesis. In addition to being small in numbers, these RCTs have methodologic limitations including the use of a crossover design that may limit the ability to maintain successful blinding. In each RCT, patients in both of the treatment groups improved, but none of the studies demonstrated differences between groups during the crossover phases. Therefore, it is not possible to determine whether the improvement was due
to GES treatment or due to a placebo effect.
Anand et al reported on 214 consecutive drug-refractory patients with the symptoms of gastroparesis (146 idiopathic, 45 diabetic, 23 postsurgery) who consented to participate in a variety of clinical research and clinical protocols at 3 centers from January 1992 through January 2005, resulting in 156 patients implanted with a GES device and 58 patients as controls.6 At last follow-up (median 4 years), most patients who received implants (135 of 156) were alive with intact devices, significantly reduced gastrointestinal symptoms, and improved health-related quality of life, with evidence of improved gastric emptying. Also, 90% of the patients had a response in at least 1 of 3 main symptoms. Most patients who were explanted, usually for pocket infections, were later successfully reimplanted.
In a case series of 12 patients receiving a gastric stimulation device, Abell et al reported rapid improvement in nutritional parameters (eg, body mass index, serum albumin).2 Forster et al reported on their experience at a single institution among 55 patients with gastroparesis, as documented by gastric retention.7 While the total symptom score improved, gastric emptying did not change. The authors reported significant improvements in upper gastrointestinal symptoms, health-related quality of life, nutritional status, glucose control, and hospitalizations at 6 and 12 months in a retrospective review of 48 adult patients with diabetes who received a gastric electrical stimulation implant. (6) The review also noted that gastric emptying was not significantly faster. Similarly, van der Voort et al reported that 17 patients with diabetic gastroparesis experienced a decrease in nausea and vomiting and an improvement in glucose control in a prospective case series examining the 12-month outcomes.8
Several case series have evaluated GES in children. Teich et al reported significant improvement after GES placement in symptoms of nausea and vomiting among 16 children with functional dyspepsia and gastroparesis who failed medical therapy.9 Another cases series of 24 children with functional dyspepsia and/or gastroparesis who failed medical therapy reported improvements in quality of life after GES placement.10 The durability of GES treatment was evaluated in several publications. Lin et al reported on outcomes beyond 3 years in patients receiving GES for gastroparesis.11 Of 55 patients, 10 died of nonpacemaker-related complications, 6 had the devices removed, and 2 could not be reached. In the remaining 37 patients, symptoms, hospital days, and the use of medications had sustained reductions (from baseline) beyond 3 years. Mason et al reported on the 20-month follow-up of 27 of 29 patients referred for gastrectomy who instead received GES for refractory gastroparesis.12 Three patients required additional procedures due to poor outcomes. Nutritional support was discontinued in the 19 patients who were dependent on supplemental feeding before the procedure. Gastric emptying rates improved. McCallum et al reported on long-term follow-up for 188 patients who received a GES and had at least 1 year of follow-up visits.13 This sample was drawn from a total of 221 patients treated with a GES system between 1 and 11 years before the study. The authors report that symptoms, hospitalizations, and medication use all improved over the time period of the study. The percent of patients with at least 50% improvement in symptoms was 58% for diabetic patients, 53% for postsurgical gastroparesis, and 48% for idiopathic disease. A total of 13 patients (7%) had their device removed due to infection. Harrison et al reported results from a cohort of 15 patients with idiopathic or diabetic gastroparesis who developed recurrent symptoms after an initial GES placement who had symptom improvement after replacement GES surgery.14 Recurrent symptoms developed an average of 48 months after the initial procedure. Patients demonstrated improvements in an investigator-derived gastroparesis symptoms core following device replacement compared with baseline (17.3 prereplacement vs 13.6 postreplacement, p=0.017), The magnitude of the symptom score reduction was similar to that seen in a retrospectively-identified comparison cohort of 15 patients who had a response to an initial GES implant (15.8 presurgery vs 12.3 postsurgery, p=0.011.)
GES placement using minimally invasive surgical approaches has also been evaluated in several publications. Laparoscopy has been reported in at least 2 studies as a feasible approach in placement of GES for patients with medically refractory diabetic or idiopathic gastroparesis.15,16
Numerous case series and uncontrolled studies on GES have been published. These studies generally report improvements in symptoms following treatment. However, this evidence is insufficient to draw conclusions because of the lack of control groups and the possibility that improvement is due to a placebo effect and/or other nonspecific factors.
Permanent Gastric Electrical Stimulation for Obesity
There has only been 1 RCT published on GES for the treatment of obesity: the SHAPE trial. In 2009, Shikora et al reported on a randomized controlled, double-blind study to evaluate GES for the treatment of obesity.17 All 190 patients participating in the study received an implantable gastric stimulator and were randomized to have the stimulator turned on or off. All patients were evaluated monthly, participated in support groups and reduced their diet by 500-kcal/day. At 12 month follow-up, there was no difference in excess weight loss between the treatment group (weight loss of 11.8% +/- 17.6%) and the control group (weight loss of 11.7% +/- 16.9%) using intention-to-treat analysis (p=0.717).
Small case series and uncontrolled prospective trials have reported positive outcomes in weight loss and maintenance of weight loss along with minimal complications.18-23 However, interpretation of these uncontrolled studies is limited. In conclusion, given the available evidence including the results of the SHAPE RCT, GES for the treatment of obesity is considered investigational.
Temporary Gastric Electrical Stimulation
Several trials were identified that evaluated the use of a temporary gastric stimulator. Temporary stimulators are intended to be used to determine whether or not a patient will respond to GES before undertaking a permanent implant. Temporary stimulators involve the endoscopic placement of a mucosal electrode, which is subsequently connected to the GES pulse generator system, which is carried externally by the patient.
2013, Lahr et al reported significant improvement during temporary GES (placement for at least 4 days) in 95 drug-refractory patients with symptoms of gastroparesis (abdominal pain, bloating, early satiety, nausea, vomiting).24 For the entire group of patients, abdominal pain decreased from a baseline of 2.95 on a 0 to 4 modified Likert scale to 1.12 after temporary GES (p<0.001). In a subset of patients reporting severe pain at baseline (n=68), as defined by a score of 3 to 4 on the pain scale, mean pain scores decreased from 3.62 to 1.29 (p<0.001). There were also reductions of similar magnitude on symptom scores for early satiety, abdominal distension, nausea, and vomiting.24
Abell et al4 performed a trial of temporary GES in 58 patients with 1 of 3 etiologies (idiopathic, diabetic, postsurgical). A temporary device was placed in all patients with the device turned on or off for 4 consecutive days, followed by crossover to the other group for an additional 4-day period. The frequency
of vomiting decreased in both groups. At day 3, the decrease in vomiting was significantly greater for the GES group; however, by day 8, the differences between groups were no longer significant.
Andersson et al 25 tested a temporary GES in 27 patients with drug-refractory nausea/vomiting. Fourteen patients were treated with temporary GES in open-label fashion, and 13 had a randomized, crossover trial in which the device was turned on for 12 to 14 days and off for 12 to 14 days. These authors reported that most patients (22/27) improved following GES placement. Of the 13 patients in the randomized crossover phase, 6 had improvement in symptoms during the on period and 7 did not. Of the 7 patients who did not improve during the on period, there was improvement with an increased intensity of stimulation.
Elfvin et al 26 treated 3 children with intractable vomiting who were younger than 3 years-old with a temporary GES. There were no adverse events of GES placement. All 3 children responded to the temporary GES and were implanted with a permanent device. Following permanent placement, all 3 children reported at least a 50% reduction in vomiting episodes.
Jayanthi et al selected a cohort of 71 patients with idiopathic (n=44), diabetic (n=14), or postsurgical (n=13) gastroparesis to undergo temporary GES (placement of a transvenous pacing wire at the junction of the gastric body and antrum), 51of whom had undergone temporary GES placement at the time of publication.27 Of those, 39 had a good response to temporary GES placement and were referred for permanent GES, which was completed in 35 patients. Among 31 patients with available follow-up at a median of 10 months, 22 patients (71%) had at least 50% symptom improvement.
Ongoing Clinical Trials
A search of online database ClinicalTrials.gov identified the following studies (comparative and noncomparative) related to the use of gastric electrical stimulation that are currently enrolling subjects:
Gastric Pacemaker Implantation for Gastroparesis (HUD) (NCT00568373) – This is a noncomparative protocol for the use of the Enterra GES system under FDA’s Humanitarian Use Device (HUD). The protocol includes patients with intractable nausea and vomiting secondary to gastroparesis of diabetic or idiopathic etiology who have tried and failed conventional treatment (drug therapy and dietary modification). Enrollment is planned for 40 subjects; the planned study completion date is December 2016.
Escalating Temporary Gastric Electrical Stimulation (GES) for Severe Gastroparesis (TempGES) (NCT02164591) – This is a prospective, observational study to evaluate outcomes after placement of a temporary gastric electrical stimulation device among patients with severe gastroparesis. Enrollment is planned for 200 subjects; the planned study completion date is December 2016.
Medico-economic Evaluation of ENTERRA Therapy (NCT00903799) – This is a randomized, double-blind crossover study of gastric electrical stimulation with the Enterra device in patients with idiopathic, postsurgical, or diabetic gastroparesis with nausea and/or vomiting that is refractory to prokinetic agents. Outcomes related to health and healthcare utilization will be evaluated. Enrollment is planned for 220 subjects; the planned study completion date is November 2015.
Gastric Electrical Stimulation (GES) for the Treatment of Obesity (NCT01823705) – This is a nonrandomized safety and feasibility study to evaluate a new device, the Exilis Implantable Gastric Electrical Stimulation device, for the treatment of obesity. Enrollment is planned for 30 subjects; the planned study completion date is September 2016.
Clinical Input Received from Physician Specialty Societies and Academic Medical Centers
In response to requests, input was received through no physician specialty societies and 4 academic medical centers (5 reviewers) while this policy was under review for May 2009. While the various physician specialty societies and academic medical centers may collaborate with and make recommendations during this process, through the provision of appropriate reviewers, input received does not represent an endorsement or position statement by the physician specialty societies or academic
medical centers, unless otherwise noted. There was strong agreement among reviewers about the limited data for use of GES in diabetic and idiopathic gastroparesis and about the need for RCTs. There was strong agreement that GES is investigational in the treatment of obesity.
Gastric electrical stimulation is performed using an implantable device designed to treat chronic drug- refractory nausea and vomiting secondary to gastroparesis of diabetic, idiopathic or postsurgical etiology.
The device may be referred to as a gastric pacemaker. Gastric electrical stimulation has also been studied for the treatment of obesity.28
The evidence on the use of gastric electrical stimulation to treat gastroparesis is inadequate to permit conclusions about its efficacy. Three small randomized studies have been published on the treatment of gastroparesis. In one randomized study, only 33 patients recruited from 11 centers in the United States were included. There was no statistically significant improvement in symptoms for the entire study group compared with placebo, but positive results were reported for the subgroup of 17 patients with diabetic gastroparesis. In the second randomized study of 55 patients, weekly vomiting frequency was significantly lower than baseline values at one-year follow-up, but there was no difference in weekly vomiting frequency between patients who had the device turned on or off during the 3-month crossover period. The third study reported improvements in vomiting frequency at 6 weeks and 12 months of follow-up compared with baseline, but did not demonstrate differences in weekly vomiting frequency between patients who had the device turned on or off during the 3-month crossover period. The case series report improvements in symptoms, nutritional parameters, and quality of life. However, the lack of a control group precludes the conclusion that these changes are due to treatment with gastric electrical stimulation, given the variable natural history of gastroparesis, and the expected placebo effect. Therefore, gastric electrical stimulation for the treatment of gastroparesis of diabetic, idiopathic, or postsurgical etiologies is considered investigational.
There has only been 1 published randomized study on gastric electrical stimulation for the treatment of obesity (SHAPE trial), which did not show any improvement in weight loss with gastric electrical stimulation. Case series publications are limited and insufficient to draw conclusions on health outcomes. Given the results of the SHAPE trial, gastric electrical stimulation for the treatment of obesity is considered investigational.
Practice Guidelines and Position Statements
In 2014, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence issued guidelines on gastroelectrical stimulation for gastroparesis that made the following recommendations28:
- Current evidence on the efficacy and safety of gastric electrical stimulation for gastroparesis is adequate to support the use of this procedure with normal arrangements for clinical governance, consent, and audit.
- During the consent process, clinicians should inform patients considering gastric electrical stimulation for gastroparesis that some patients do not get any benefit from it. They should also give patients detailed written information about the risk of complications, which can be serious, including the need to remove the device.
- Patient selection and follow-up should be done in specialist gastroenterology units with expertise in gastrointestinal motility disorders, and the procedure should only be performed by surgeons working in these units.
- Further publications providing data about the effects of the procedure on symptoms in the long term and on device durability would be useful.
The American College of Gastroenterology published a clinical practice guideline on management of gastroparesis in 2013.29 The recommendations for this guideline were based on review of the evidence base through 2011. The evidence on GES consisted of the 2 randomized crossover trials and the case series, as previously described. The recommendation for GES was that “GES may be considered for compassionate treatment in patients with refractory symptoms, particularly nausea and vomiting. Symptom severity and gastric emptying have been shown to improve in patients with DG [diabetic gastroparesis], but not in patients with IG [idiopathic gastroparesis] or PSG [postsurgical gastroparesis]. [Conditional recommendation (there is uncertainty about trade-offs), moderate level of evidence (further research would be likely to have an impact on the confidence in the estimate of effect).]”29
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendations
Gastric electrical stimulation is not a preventive service.
Medicare National Coverage
There is no national coverage determination (NCD). In the absence of an NCD, coverage decisions are left to the discretion of local Medicare carriers.
- Chu H, Lin Z, Zhong L, et al. Treatment of high-frequency gastric electrical stimulation for gastroparesis. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. Jun 2012;27(6):1017-1026. PMID 22128901
- Abell T, McCallum R, Hocking M, et al. Gastric electrical stimulation for medically refractory gastroparesis Gastroenterology. Aug 2003;125(2):421-428. PMID 12891544
- McCallum RW, Snape W, Brody F, et al. Gastric electrical stimulation with Enterra therapy improves symptoms from diabetic gastroparesis in a prospective study. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. Nov 2010;8(11):947-954; quiz e116. PMID 20538073
- Abell TL, Johnson WD, Kedar A, et al. A double-masked, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of temporary endoscopic mucosal gastric electrical stimulation for gastroparesis. Gastrointest Endosc. Sep 2011;74(3):496-503 e493. PMID 21872708
- McCallum RW, Sarosiek I, Parkman HP, et al. Gastric electrical stimulation with Enterra therapy improves symptoms of idiopathic gastroparesis. Neurogastroenterol Motil. Oct 2013;25(10):815-e636. PMID 23895180
- Anand C, Al-Juburi A, Familoni B, et al. Gastric electrical stimulation is safe and effective: a long-term study in patients with drug-refractory gastroparesis in three regional centers. Digestion. 2007;75(2-3):83-89. PMID 17519527
- Forster J, Sarosiek I, Lin Z, et al. Further experience with gastric stimulation to treat drug refractory gastroparesis. Am J Surg. Dec 2003;186(6):690-695. PMID 14672781
- van der Voort IR, Becker JC, Dietl KH, et al. Gastric electrical stimulation results in improved metabolic control in diabetic patients suffering from gastroparesis. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. Jan 2005;113(1):38-42. PMID 15662594
- Teich S, Mousa HM, Punati J, et al. Efficacy of permanent gastric electrical stimulation for the treatment of gastroparesis and functional dyspepsia in children and adolescents. J Pediatr Surg. Jan 2013;48(1):178-183. PMID 23331812
- Lu PL, Teich S, Di Lorenzo C, et al. Improvement of quality of life and symptoms after gastric electrical stimulation in children with functional dyspepsia. Neurogastroenterol Motil. Jul 2013;25(7):567-e456. PMID 23433238
- Lin Z, Sarosiek I, Forster J, et al. Symptom responses, long-term outcomes and adverse events beyond 3 years of high-frequency gastric electrical stimulation for gastroparesis. Neurogastroenterol Motil. Jan 2006;18(1):18-27. PMID 16371079
- Mason RJ, Lipham J, Eckerling G, et al. Gastric electrical stimulation: an alternative surgical therapy for patients with gastroparesis. Arch Surg. Sep 2005;140(9):841-846; discussion 847-848. PMID 16172292
- McCallum RW, Lin Z, Forster J, et al. Gastric electrical stimulation improves outcomes of patients with gastroparesis for up to 10 years. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. Apr 2011;9(4):314-319 e311. PMID 21185396
- Harrison NS, Williams PA, Walker MR, et al. Evaluation and Treatment of Gastric Stimulator Failure in Patients With Gastroparesis. Surg Innov. Sep 20 2013;21(3):244-249. PMID 24056201
- Timratana P, El-Hayek K, Shimizu H, et al. Laparoscopic gastric electrical stimulation for medically refractory diabetic and idiopathic gastroparesis. J Gastrointest Surg. Mar 2013;17(3):461-470. PMID 23288718
- Zehetner J, Ravari F, Ayazi S, et al. Minimally invasive surgical approach for the treatment of gastroparesis. Surg Endosc. Jan 2013;27(1):61-66. PMID 22752276
- Shikora SA, Bergenstal R, Bessler M, et al. Implantable gastric stimulation for the treatment of clinically severe obesity: results of the SHAPE trial. Surg Obes Relat Dis. Jan-Feb 2009;5(1):31-37. PMID 19071066
- Cigaina V. Gastric pacing as therapy for morbid obesity: preliminary results. Obes Surg. Apr 2002;12 Suppl 1:12S-16S. PMID 11969102
- Cigaina V, Hirschberg AL. Gastric pacing for morbid obesity: plasma levels of gastrointestinal peptides and leptin. Obes Res. Dec 2003;11(12):1456-1462. PMID 14694209
- D'Argent J. Gastric electrical stimulation as therapy of morbid obesity: preliminary results from the French study. Obes Surg. Apr 2002;12 Suppl 1:21S-25S. PMID 11969104
- De Luca M, Segato G, Busetto L, et al. Progress in implantable gastric stimulation: summary of results of the European multi-center study. Obes Surg. Sep 2004;14 Suppl 1:S33-39. PMID 15479588
- Favretti F, De Luca M, Segato G, et al. Treatment of morbid obesity with the Transcend Implantable Gastric Stimulator (IGS): a prospective survey. Obes Surg. May 2004;14(5):666-670. PMID 15186636
- Shikora SA. Implantable gastric stimulation for the treatment of severe obesity. Obes Surg. Apr 2004;14(4):545-548. PMID 15130236
- Lahr CJ, Griffith J, Subramony C, et al. Gastric electrical stimulation for abdominal pain in patients with symptoms of gastroparesis. Am Surg. May 2013;79(5):457-464. PMID 23635579
- Andersson S, Ringstrom G, Elfvin A, et al. Temporary percutaneous gastric electrical stimulation: a novel technique tested in patients with non-established indications for gastric electrical stimulation. Digestion. 2011;83(1-2):3-12. PMID 20838049
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|CPT||See policy guidelines|
|ICD-9 Procedure||86.95||Insertion or replacement of dual array neurostimulator pulse generator|
|05.9||Other operations on nervous system|
|44.99||Other operation on stomach (one or the other of the above are used for implantation or replacement of peripheral neurostimulator lead, open or laparoscopic approach)|
|ICD-9 Diagnosis||Investigational for all codes|
|HCPCS||See policy guidelines|
|ICD-10-CM (effective 10/1/15)||Investigational for all diagnoses|
|E08.43||Diabetes mellitus due to underlying condition with diabetic autonomic (poly)neuropathy|
|E09.43||Drug or chemical induced diabetes mellitus with neurological complications with diabetic autonomic (poly)neuropathy|
|E10.43||Type 1 diabetes mellitus with diabetic autonomic (poly)neuropathy|
|E11.43||Type 2 diabetes mellitus with diabetic autonomic (poly)neuropathy|
|E13.43||Other specified diabetes mellitus with diabetic autonomic (poly)neuropathy|
|K31.89||Other diseases of stomach and duodenum|
|ICD-10-PCS (effective 10/1/15)||0DH60MZ, 0DH63MZ, 0DH64MZ||Surgical, gastrointestinal system, insertion, stomach, stimulation lead, code by approach open, percutaneous or percutaneous endoscopic|
|Type of Service||Surgery|
|Place of Service||Inpatient/outpatient|
Electrical Stimulation, Gastric
Enterra Therapy System
Gastric Electrical Stimulation
|12/15/00||Add to Surgery section||New policy|
|10/08/02||Replace policy||Policy reviewed with literature search; policy statement unchanged|
|12/17/03||Replace policy||Policy revised; gastric electrical stimulation considered medically necessary for diabetic gastroparesis. New HCPCS code added|
|04/16/04||Replace policy||Above reason is incorrect. 12/17/03 review did NOT result in change in policy statement (due to a discrepancy between policy statement and the above reason). Topic again reviewed, with literature search. No change in policy statement; gastric electrical stimulation still considered investigational|
|11/9/04||Replace policy||Literature review updated for the period of January through August 2004; references and information on gastric stimulation for obesity treatment added; added a policy statement that gastric electrical stimulation is investigational for the treatment of obesity. Added current device name—Enterra™|
|9/27/05||Replace policy||Literature review update for the period of August 2004 through June 2005; reference numbers 7 and 13 added. Policy statement unchanged. Additional coding information added|
|10/10/06||Replace policy||Literature review updated for June 2005 through August 2006; policy statement unchanged. Reference numbers 14 and 15 added. CPT coding updated|
|02/14/08||Replace policy||Policy updated with literature review in January 2008; policy statement unchanged. Reference numbers 16 – 18 added.|
|06/11/09||Replace policy||Policy updated with literature review, reference number 19 added; clinical input reviewed, no change in policy statement|
|10/08/10||Replace policy||Policy updated with literature review, reference number 20 added; no change in policy statement|
|10/04/11||Replace policy||Policy updated with literature review, rationale extensively rewritten. References 3, 6, 17-19 removed, new references 8-10, 13 added. No change in policy statement|
|10/11/12||Replace Policy||Policy updated with literature review, references 1, 15 and 22 added; “post-surgical” added to investigational statement on gastroparesis.|
|8/08/13||Replace policy||Policy updated with literature review through June 18, 2013, references 9, 13, 17, 18, and 26 added; no changes in policy statements.|
|8/14/14||Replace policy||Policy updated with literature review through July 1, 2014. References 5, 14, and 27-28 added. Rationale section reorganized. No change to policy statements.|