OBJECTIVES: To determine the value of multichannel versus conventional single-channel electrogastrography (EGG) and of an additional postprandial hour recording in symptomatic patients. METHODS: Eighteen normal subjects and 47 patients with upper GI symptoms underwent multichannel EGG with four cutaneous recording electrodes placed on the antral axis. Fasting EGG was recorded for 1 h, followed by meal ingestion, followed by two 1-h postprandial EGG recordings. Variables assessed: (1) dominant frequency (DF) and its power; (2) percent time in normal (2-4) cpm frequency; (3) average percent of slow wave coupling (% SWC). RESULTS: Normal values for single-channel EGG were: (1) DF from 2.5-3.3, 2.7-3.5, and 2.6-3.5 cpm in the fasting, first, and second postprandial hours; (2) percentage of time in 2-4 cpm: >50%, >65%, and >65% in the fasting, first, and second postprandial hours. Normal values for percent SWC using multichannel EGG were >50%, >55%, >55% in the fasting, first, and second postprandial hours. In the symptomatic patients, an abnormal 2-h single-channel EGG was obtained in 16 of 47 (34%) patients. Adding an additional 1 h of postprandial recording identified another 4 abnormal patients (20/47 = 43%). With multichannel EGG, abnormal results were obtained in 24 of 47 patients (51%) with the 2-h study. An additional 1 h of postprandial recording identified another 4 patients as abnormal (28/47 = 60%). CONCLUSIONS: Multichannel EGG recording improved the detection of abnormal gastric myoelectric activity in symptomatic patients. This study also demonstrates prolonging the postprandial recording to 2 h increases the diagnostic yield for both single-channel and multichannel EGG.
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