Validation of Electrode Placement in Neonatal Electrogastrography
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Electrogastrography (EGG) is the transcutaneous measurement of gastric electrical activity. The aims of this study were to validate the electrode placement position in neonatal electrogastrography using ultrasonography to localise the stomach, and to describe the observed EGG frequency characteristics. Fifteen neonates with no known abdominal disorder were studied. Two bipolar EGG recordings were obtained from each subject, the first from electrodes placed at sites localized by ultrasound and the second from electrodes placed at the currently recommended sites. Paired sample t tests were used to compare electrode positioning and electrogastrographic data. There were 15 subjects with a mean age of 36 days (range 1–95). While there was a significant difference in the position of electrodes at each site, the EGG recordings did not differ. The 3-cycle/minute (2.6–3.7cpm) activity ranged from 30% to 84% of recorded time (mean at sites localized with ultrasound was 53%, and at currently recommended sites it was 50%; difference not significant, P = 0.155). Bradygastria (<2.6 cpm) was observed in the range of 2–29% of recorded time (mean at sites localised with ultrasound was 12.9%, and at currently recommended sites it was 11.7%; difference not significant, P = 0.40). Tachygastria (3.2–10 cpm) was shown to be in the range of 10–58% of recorded time (mean at sites localized with ultrasound was 33.3%, and at currently recommended sites it was 38.7%; difference not significant; P = 0.044). In conclusion, there was no significant difference between EGG recordings taken from electrode sites localized by ultrasound and those recommended by manufacturers of the electrogastrogram, thus confirming the validity of the manufacturer's recommended electrode positioning. The pattern of electrical control activity in the normal neonatal stomach appears to be different from that demonstrated in adults. Bradygastria and tachygastria are seen more frequently, with fewer periods of 3 cpm activity.
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