Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 2293–2301 | Cite as

Magnetoenterography (MENG)

Noninvasive measurement of bioelectric activity in human small intestine
  • William O. Richards
  • L. Alan Bradshaw
  • Daniel J. Staton
  • C. Louis Garrard
  • Fei Liu
  • Scott Buchanan
  • John P. WikswoJr.
Motility, Nerve-Gut Interactions, Hormones, And Receptors


The basic electrical rhythm (BER) of the gastrointestinal tract creates minute magnetic fields that have been measured in animals using a Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) gradiometer. The aim of this study was to measure noninvasively the biomagnetic fields of human stomach and small intestine. Twenty-one human volunteers were studied using a 37-channel SQUID gradiometer positioned over the epigastrium and umbilicus. In one volunteer additional biomagnetic recordings were performed in order to map the spatial variation of the biomagnetic fields. Cyclical waveforms consistent with gastric BER [3.0 ± 0.5 cycles per minute (cpm)] and small intestine BER (10.26 ± 1.74 cpm) were seen in the epigastrium and umbilicus, respectively. The mapping study identified the expected frequency gradient (12.0 cpm in duodenum, 11.3 cpm in jejunum, to 9.7 cpm in ileum) within the small intestine. Noninvasive recordings of human gastric and small intestinal BER can be obtained using a SQUID gradiometer.

Key words

electromyography gastrointestinal motility electrodiagnosis stomach small intestine electrophysiology 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • William O. Richards
    • 1
    • 4
  • L. Alan Bradshaw
    • 2
  • Daniel J. Staton
    • 2
  • C. Louis Garrard
    • 4
  • Fei Liu
    • 3
  • Scott Buchanan
    • 3
  • John P. WikswoJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.From the Departments of Surgery at the Veterans Administration Medical CenterNashville
  2. 2.the Living State Physics Group, Department of Physics and AstronomyVanderbilt UniversityNashville
  3. 3.Biomagnetic Technologies, Inc.San Diego
  4. 4.Vanderbilt University Medical CenterNashville

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