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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2008 Feb;20(2):113-8. Epub 2007 Sep 10.

An audit of technical pitfalls of gastric barostat testing in dyspepsia.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.


Sensorimotor dysfunction of the proximal stomach is considered an important mechanism for symptom generation in functional dyspepsia and related conditions. Barostat studies are used to assess gastric sensitivity to distention, compliance and meal-induced accommodation. The aim of the present study was to assess tolerance and pitfalls of gastric barostat studies at a tertiary care centre. We performed a retrospective review of patient barostat studies between 01/2000 and 12/2004 at Leuven University Hospital. We evaluated compliance with the procedure, suggestions of air leaks, unusual sensory reporting, baseline intra-balloon volumes, gastric accommodation and phasic contractions after a meal. About 98.1% of 414 scheduled gastric barostat studies were well tolerated and the majority (94.1%) were technically adequate. Interpretation was hampered in 18 (4.4%) studies because of low intra-balloon volumes and in six (1.5%) studies because of suspected air leaks. Negative accommodation was found in 69% of studies with low volumes and in 9.8% of 382 studies with adequate volumes (27% patients with previous antireflux surgery). About 94% of gastric barostat studies in patients with upper gastrointestinal symptoms are well tolerated and technically adequate. Major artefacts are due to air leak or inappropriately low volumes.

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