Response of the electric activity in the human stomach to water and a solid meal

J. Chen, R. W. McCallum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The gastric electric activity paces the contractions of the stomach and can be measured noninvasively using surface electrodes placed on the abdomen. In this paper, response of the gastric electric activity to water and a solid meal was investigated using surface electrodes. Applying an improved recording technique, power spectral analysis and statistical analysis methods, the gastric electric activity in preprandial, postwater and postprandial states was measured and analysed from ten healthy volunteers. To more convincingly show the effect of water and the solid meal on the gastric slow wave and gastric motility, simultaneous recordings of the cutaneous EGG and manometric activities in the stomach were performed in three gastroparetic patients. It was found that water does not induce contractions of the stomach, but the gastric slow wave amplitude increases (p<0·05) and frequency decreases (p<0·05). The solid meal results in an increase in both the amplitude (p<0·01) and the frequency (p<0·02) of the gastric slow wave. It appears that the postprandial EGG amplitude increases because of a combination of stomach contractions and gastric distension bringing the stomach closer to the recording electrodes. The slow wave frequency, however, correlates well with stomach contractions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalMedical & Biological Engineering & Computing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioelectric potential
  • Electrogastrogram
  • Electromyography
  • Gastric motility
  • Slow wave
  • Stomach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications

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