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Z Gastroenterol. 1996 Sep;34(9):517-21.

Effect of progressive systemic sclerosis on antral myoelectrical activity and gastric emptying.

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Department of Medicine, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany.


In patients with progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS) suffering from chronic dyspepsia the stomach may be affected by this disease. The objective of this study was to investigate both antral myoelectrical activity and gastric emptying in PSS patients. Electrogastrography (EGG) was performed in 17 PSS patients (16 female, one male, median age 58 years, range 32-74 years) with chronic dyspepsia. After an overnight fast during one hour in the fasting and one hour in the fed state after ingestion of a liquid-solid test meal (370 kcal; liquid phase labeled with 0.5 mCi 99mTc-colloid) antral electrical activity was measured by one pair of electrodes sonographically placed on the skin overlying the gastric antrum. Several EGG parameters including dominant frequency (DF), percentages of DF in the normal range (2-4 cycles per minute [cpm]), bradygastria (< 2 cpm) and tachygastria (4-10 cpm), dominant frequency instability coefficient (DFIC), and postprandial to preprandial power ratio (PR) were calculated. The data were correlated to results obtained in 20 age- and gender-matched healthy subjects. In addition, the data were compared to gastric retention of the radionuclide at 60 min measured by simultaneous scintigraphy. The PSS patients did not reveal electrical disturbances. They even exhibited a significant postprandial decrease in DFIC, bradygastria, and tachygastria (ns) compared to healthy subjects. Over 50% of the PSS patients showed a delayed gastric emptying. However, EGG did not correlate to radioscintigraphy significantly. Our results reflect an absent relationship between antral myoelectrical activity in EGG and gastric emptying. Therefore, electrogastrography is unsuitable to assess gastric involvement in PSS.

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