Serosal and cutaneous recordings of gastric myoelectrical activity in patients with gastroparesis

J. D.Z. Chen, B. D. Schirmer, R. W. McCallum

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152 Scopus citations


The aims of this study were to 1) investigate gastric myoelectrical activity in patients with gastroparesis, 2) validate the cutaneous electrogastrogram (EGG) in tracking the frequency change of the gastric slow wave, and 3) investigate the effect of electrical stimulation on gastric myoelectrical activity. Gastric myoelectrical activity was recorded in 12 patients with documented gastroparesis using serosal electrodes for > 200 min in each subject. All recordings were made at least 4 days after surgery. Each session consisted of a 30-min recording in the fasting state and a 30-min recording after a test meal. The test meal (liquid or mixed) was selected according to patient's tolerance. Electrical stimulation was performed in three subjects via the serosal electrodes at a frequency of 3 cycles/min. Gastric myoelectrical activity was recorded using serosal electrodes in each session. The serosal recording showed slow waves of 2.5 to 4.0 cycles/min in all 12 subjects. Absence of spikes was noted in 11 of the 12 subjects. The simultaneous serosal and cutaneous recording of gastric myoelectrical activity showed that the frequency of the EGG was exactly the same as that of the serosal recording. Liquid meals resulted in a significant decrease in slow-wave frequency (Student's t test, P = 0.006), and the EGG accurately reflected this change. Electrical stimulation had no effect on the frequency of the gastric slow wave and did not induce spikes. It was concluded that 1) the absence of spike activity was the main abnormality observed in these gastroenteric patients, 2) the EGG accurately reflected the frequency of the gastric slow wave and was able to detect changes induced by the test meal, and 3) electrical stimulation in patients with gastroparesis at the physiological frequency of 3 cycles/min may not have any effect on gastric myoelectrical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G90-G98
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number1 29-1
StatePublished - 1994


  • electrical stimulation
  • electrogastrogram
  • electrogastrography
  • electromyogram
  • gastric emptying
  • gastrointestinal motility
  • stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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