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Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2009 Jun;296(6):G1200-10. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.90581.2008. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

Origin and propagation of the slow wave in the canine stomach: the outlines of a gastric conduction system.

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  • 1Dept. of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, P.O.Box 17666, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates.


Slow waves are known to originate orally in the stomach and to propagate toward the antrum, but the exact location of the pacemaker and the precise pattern of propagation have not yet been studied. Using assemblies of 240 extracellular electrodes, simultaneous recordings of electrical activity were made on the fundus, corpus, and antrum in open abdominal anesthetized dogs. The signals were analyzed off-line, pathways of slow wave propagation were reconstructed, and slow wave velocities and amplitudes were measured. The gastric pacemaker is located in the upper part of the fundus, along the greater curvature. Extracellularly recorded slow waves in the pacemaker area exhibited large amplitudes (1.8 +/- 1.0 mV) and rapid velocities (1.5 +/- 0.9 cm/s), whereas propagation in the remainder of the fundus and in the corpus was slow (0.5 +/- 0.2 cm/s) with low-amplitude waveforms (0.8 +/- 0.5 mV). In the antrum, slow wave propagation was fast (1.5 +/- 0.6 cm/s) with large amplitude deflections (2.0 +/- 1.3 mV). Two areas were identified where slow waves did not propagate, the first in the oral medial fundus and the second distal in the antrum. Finally, recordings from the entire ventral surface revealed the presence of three to five simultaneously propagating slow waves. High resolution mapping of the origin and propagation of the slow wave in the canine stomach revealed areas of high amplitude and rapid velocity, areas with fractionated low amplitude and low velocity, and areas with no propagation; all these components together constitute the elements of a gastric conduction system.

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