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Dig Dis Sci. 2003 May;48(5):837-48.

Treatment of gastroparesis with electrical stimulation.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160, USA.


Electrically stimulating the stomach to treat gastroparesis has been proposed by investigators for decades. With the development of techniques of implantable pacing devices and electrodes and promising preliminary results in chronic pacing studies, gastric electrical stimulation (GES) has received increasing attention recently among researchers and clinicians. A number of studies have been performed to investigate the effects of GES on gastric motility, gastric emptying, and gastrointestinal symptoms in both dogs and humans. Based on the frequency of the electrical stimulus used for chronic treatment of gastroparesis, gastric electrical stimulation can be classified into low-frequency stimulation (LFS) and high-frequency stimulation (HFS). Although some of the results are still controversial, the majority of these studies seem to indicate that LFS is able to normalize gastric dysrhythmias and entrain gastric slow waves and accelerate gastric emptying. On the other hand, HFS has no effect on gastric emptying but is able to significantly reduce symptoms of nausea and vomiting in gastroparetic patients. GES has provided an exciting new advance in the treatment of gastroparesis and management of upper gastrointestinal symptoms. This paper will review the available studies of GES in the treatment of gastroparesis and current status of this field.

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