Transcutaneous electrogastrography: a non-invasive method to evaluate post-operative gastric disorders?Hepatogastroenterology. 1999 Mar-Apr; 46(26):1244-8.H
With the development of high-performance computer programs, transcutaneous electrogastrography has experienced a renaissance in the last few years and is widely recommended as a non-invasive diagnostic tool to evaluate functional gastric disorders. We assessed the clinical value of electrogastrography in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients after a variety of procedures of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Electrogastrography tracings were recorded with a commercially available data logger using a recording frequency of 4 Hz. A standard meal was given between a 60 min preprandial and a 60 min postprandial period. The following parameters were analyzed pre- and postprandially utilizing Fourier and spectral analysis: Regular gastric activity (2-4 cycles/minute), bradygastria (0.5-2 cycles/minute), tachygastria (4-9 cycles/minute), dominant frequency and power of the dominant frequency. Nineteen asymptomatic healthy volunteers served as a control group. Forty-nine patients, who had undergone upper intestinal surgery, were included in the study (cholecystectomy n = 10, Nissen fundoplication n = 10, subtotal gastrectomy n = 8, truncal vagotomy, and gastric pull-up as esophageal replacement n = 6). Twenty of these patients complained of epigastric symptoms post-operatively, while 12 of these 20 patients also had a scintigraphic gastric emptying study with Tc99m labeled semisolid meal.
Preprandial gastric electric activity was between 2 and 4 cycles/minute in 60-90% of the study time in healthy volunteers. In all study groups the prevalence and power of normal electric activity increased significantly after the test meal (p < 0.001). After cholecystectomy, Nissen fundoplication, subtotal gastrectomy or vagotomy and gastric pull-up pre- and postprandial gastric electric activity showed a greater variability compared to normal volunteers (p < 0.05), but no typical electrogastrography pattern could be identified for the different surgical procedures. There was no significant difference in the electrogastrography pattern between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients and patients with normal or abnormal scintigraphic gastric emptying curves.
There is no specific electrogastrography pattern to differentiate between typical surgical procedures or epigastric symptoms. To date, electrogastrography does not contribute to the diagnosis and analysis of gastric motility disorders after upper intestinal surgery.