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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2011 Jul;23(7):617-e252. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2011.01710.x. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

Gastric motor disturbances in patients with idiopathic rapid gastric emptying.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. bharucha.adil@mayo.edu



The mechanisms of 'idiopathic' rapid gastric emptying, which are associated with functional dyspepsia and functional diarrhea, are not understood. Our hypotheses were that increased gastric motility and reduced postprandial gastric accommodation contribute to rapid gastric emptying.


Fasting and postprandial (300kcal nutrient meal) gastric volumes were measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in 20 healthy people and 17 with functional dyspepsia; seven had normal and 10 had rapid gastric emptying. In 17 healthy people and patients, contractility was analyzed by spectral analysis of a time-series of gastric cross-sectional areas. Logistic regression models analyzed whether contractile parameters, fasting volume, and postprandial volume change could discriminate between health and patients with normal or rapid gastric emptying.


While upper gastrointestinal symptoms were comparable, patients with rapid emptying had a higher (P=0.002) body mass index than normal gastric emptying. MRI visualized propagating contractions at ∼3cpm in healthy people and patients. Compared with controls (0.32±0.04, Mean±SEM), the amplitude of gastric contractions in the entire stomach was higher (OR 4.1, 95% CI 1.2-14.0) in patients with rapid (0.48±0.06), but not normal gastric emptying (0.20±0.06). Similar differences were observed in the distal stomach. However, the propagation velocity, fasting gastric volume, and the postprandial volume change were not significantly different between patients and controls.


MRI provides a non-invasive and refined assessment of gastric volumes and contractility in humans. Increased gastric contractility may contribute to rapid gastric emptying in functional dyspepsia.

© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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