Study designs of evaluations included in the review
The inclusion criteria specified all clinical trials. Three studies were open-label studies, one study was an open-label, crossover design comparing erythromycin with metaclopromide, and one study was a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study. In all studies, the study size was 13 or fewer patients and the duration of treatment was 4 weeks or less.
Specific interventions included in the review
The inclusion criteria specified interventions using erythromycin. One study compared erythromycin and metoclopromide (10 mg three times daily). One study was placebo-controlled. The doses of erythromycin ranged from 150 mg three times daily to a single dose of 500 mg daily.
Participants included in the review
The inclusion criteria specified patients with gastroparesis. The included participants were treated for progressive systemic sclerosis (1 study), diabetes or idiopathic gastroparesis (3 studies), and surgery (1 study).
Outcomes assessed in the review
The inclusion criteria specified symptom assessment. Symptom improvement was defined as a 25% or greater decrease in the total symptom scores. The symptoms mentioned in the review included nausea, vomiting, early satiety and bloating. None of the included studies used symptom improvement as the primary end point. The included end points were individual symptom scores and symptom improvement.
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two authors independently selected papers for the review. Any discrepancies were resolved by consensus opinion.