Delayed gastric emptying is a mechanism that contributes to the pathogenesis of gastroesophageal reflux. Electrogastrogram changes, gastric emptying rates, and Helicobacter pylori status were investigated, and a correlation was sought with dyspepsia symptoms in gastroesophageal reflux disease patients.
Fifty patients (27 females; mean age 43) with gastroesophageal reflux were studied. Electrogastrographic recordings were obtained 30 minutes before and simultaneously with a 2-hour radionuclide gastric-emptying test using an isotope-labeled solid meal. Symptoms of nausea, abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, and early satiety were graded from 0 to 5.
Thirty-six percent of patients had delayed gastric eliminating. Thirty-eight percent (19/50) patients had abnormal electrogastrograms, and 11 of these 19 also had delayed gastric emptying. There was a significant difference in the electrogastrographic parameter of postprandial power change in patients with delayed versus normal gastric emptying (0.20 +/- 0.8 dB vs 3.17 +/- 0.8 dB, p < 0.05). In patients with an abnormal electrogastrogram, the mean symptom score was significantly higher than in patients with a normal electrogastrogram (2.18 +/- 0.26 vs 1.35 +/- 0.16, p < 0.05). Twenty-one percent (7/33) of patients were positive (+) for Helicobacter pylori overall, but this did not seem to affect electrogastrogram and gastric emptying findings.
Fifty-two percent of gastroesophageal reflux disease patients have gastric motor or myoelectrical abnormalities that contribute to the pathogenesis of this entity and also help explain the high prevalence of dyspepsia in the clinical presentation of gastroesophageal reflux disease.