Electrogastrography (EGG), the measurement of gastric pacemeaker activity by means of surface electrodes, provides a noninvasive technique to detect and quantify the characteristics of the gastric slow wave. With a predominant frequency of three cycles per minute, the activity of the specialized cells responsible for this pacing, the interstitial cells of Cajal, is crucial in providing the underlying electrophysiologic changes that enable coordinated smooth muscle contraction and synchronized peristalsis. Advances in electronics and software to define frequency distribution, stability of the signal, postprandial changes, and other parameters have contributed to more widespread interest in EGG and its application to the investigation of functional gastrointestinal disturbances. Definition of pediatric norms and postnatal changes in the EGG of premature infants has provided the foundation for further studies investigating correlative changes with such important functions as gastric emptying and motility. The EGG remains a promising diagnostic tool. Future studies will help define its usefulness in identifying abnormal functions of the interstitial cells of Cajal.
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References and Recommended Reading
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Levy, J. Use of electrogastrography in children. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 4, 259–265 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11894-002-0072-5
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Gastric Emptying
- Dominant Frequency
- Enteric Nervous System