Gastric electrical stimulation in patients with gastroparesis

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As in the heart, there is a pacemaker in the human stomach and it generates myoelectrical activity with a frequency of approximately three cycles per minute. Abnormalities in gastric myoelectrical activity may result in gastric motility disorders, such as gastroparesis. Electrical stimulation of the stomach is achieved by delivering electrical currents via electrodes attached to the smooth muscle of the stomach. Recently, a number of studies on electrical stimulation of the stomach in both humans and dogs have indicated that gastric electrical stimulation with appropriate parameters is able to entrain gastric slow waves and normalize gastric dysrhythmias. This has led some investigators to use gastric electrical stimulation to treat patients with gastroparesis. Previous studies and the current state of the field in gastric electrical stimulation in treatment of gastroparesis will be discussed and summarized.

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