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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Oct;22(10):e292-300. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2010.01538.x. Epub 2010 Jul 6.

Origin, propagation and regional characteristics of porcine gastric slow wave activity determined by high-resolution mapping.

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Auckland Bioengineering Institute, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.



The pig is a popular model for gastric electrophysiology studies. However, its normal baseline gastric activity has not been well characterized. High-resolution (HR) mapping has recently enabled an accurate description of human and canine gastric slow wave activity, and was employed here to define porcine gastric slow wave activity.


Fasted pigs underwent HR mapping following anesthesia and laparotomy. Flexible printed-circuit-board arrays were used (160-192 electrodes; spacing 7.62 mm). Anterior and posterior surfaces were mapped simultaneously. Activation times, velocities, amplitudes and frequencies were calculated, and regional differences evaluated.


Mean slow wave frequency was 3.22 ± 0.23 cpm. Slow waves propagated isotropically from the pacemaker site (greater curvature, mid-fundus). Pacemaker activity was of higher velocity (13.3 ± 1.0 mm s(-1)) and greater amplitude (1.3 ± 0.2 mV) than distal fundal activity (9.0 ± 0.6 mm s(-1), 0.9 ± 0.1 mV; P < 0.05). Velocities and amplitudes were similar in the distal fundus, proximal corpus (8.4 ± 0.8 mm s(-1), 1.0 ± 0.1 mV), distal corpus (8.3 ± 0.8 mm s(-1), 0.9 ± 0.2 mV) and antrum (6.8 ± 0.6 mm s(-1), 1.1 ± 0.2 mV). Activity was continuous across the anterior and posterior gastric surfaces.


This study has quantified normal porcine gastric slow wave activity at HR during anesthesia and laparotomy. The pacemaker region was associated with high-amplitude, high-velocity slow wave activity compared to the activity in the rest of the stomach. The increase in distal antral slow wave velocity and amplitude previously described in canines and humans is not observed in the pig. Investigators should be aware of these inter-species differences.

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