Patterns of gastric myoelectrical activity in human subjects of different ages

J. D.Z. Chen, E. Co, J. Liang, J. Pan, J. Sutphen, R. B. Torres-Pinedo, W. C. Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to investigate the developmental change of gastric myoelectrical activity in humans. Five groups of healthy subjects were studied, including 10 preterm newborns, 8 full-term newborns, 8 full- term infants (ages 2-6 mo), 9 children (ages 4-11 yr), and 9 adults. Gastric myoelectrical activity was recorded using surface electrogastrography for 30 min before and 30 min after a test meal in each subject. Spectral analysis methods were applied to compute the parameters of the electrogastrogram (EGG). The results showed that the percentage of 2-to 4-cycles/min (cpm) slow waves was 26.6 ± 3.9% in the preterm newborns, 30.0 ± 4.0% in full-term newborns, 70 ± 6.1% in 2- to 6-mo-old infants (P < 0.001 compared with newborns), 84.6 ± 3.2% in 4- to 11-yr-old children (P < 0.03 compared with infants), and 88.9 ± 2.2% in the adults (P > 0.05 compared with children). In conclusion, gastric slow waves are absent at birth, and there is a maturing process after birth. Age-matched controls are necessary for the interpretation of EGG data from neonates and infants, whereas EGG data in children are the same as in adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G1022-G1027
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 35-5
StatePublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Electrogastrography
  • Gastric motility
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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