Patterns of gastric myoelectrical activity in human subjects of different ages

J. D.Z. Chen, E. Co, J. Liang, J. Pan, J. Sutphen, R. B. Torres-Pinedo, W. C. Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to investigate the developmental change of gastric myoelectrical activity in humans. Five groups of healthy subjects were studied, including 10 preterm newborns, 8 full-term newborns, 8 full- term infants (ages 2-6 mo), 9 children (ages 4-11 yr), and 9 adults. Gastric myoelectrical activity was recorded using surface electrogastrography for 30 min before and 30 min after a test meal in each subject. Spectral analysis methods were applied to compute the parameters of the electrogastrogram (EGG). The results showed that the percentage of 2-to 4-cycles/min (cpm) slow waves was 26.6 ± 3.9% in the preterm newborns, 30.0 ± 4.0% in full-term newborns, 70 ± 6.1% in 2- to 6-mo-old infants (P < 0.001 compared with newborns), 84.6 ± 3.2% in 4- to 11-yr-old children (P < 0.03 compared with infants), and 88.9 ± 2.2% in the adults (P > 0.05 compared with children). In conclusion, gastric slow waves are absent at birth, and there is a maturing process after birth. Age-matched controls are necessary for the interpretation of EGG data from neonates and infants, whereas EGG data in children are the same as in adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G1022-G1027
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 35-5
StatePublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Electrogastrography
  • Gastric motility
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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