Gastric electrical stimulation at about four times the physiologic rate has been reported to be efficient in entraining gastric electrical activity and improving contractility in the canine stomach. In this study, we employed electrical stimulation at 12 cycles/min (approximately four times the physiologic rate) to treat a patient with refractory gastroparesis for one year. Electrical stimulation at 12 cycles/min was delivered first via temporary mucosal electrodes inserted through a percutaneous gastrostomy and subsequently via serosal implanted electrodes. Radionuclide liquid gastric emptying and gastric electrical activity (GEA) were measured at baseline, at week 1 after temporary stimulation, and at weeks 4, 15, and 52 after surgery for electrode implantation. Emptying improved from 0% emptied at baseline to 28% after one week of electrical stimulation from mucosal electrodes. Stimulation via serosal electrodes improved symptoms, and the patient emptied 28% at 4 weeks, 97% at 15 weeks, and 56% at 52 weeks postsurgery. Potential benefits of stimulation can be evaluated readily on a temporary basis in patients with percutaneous gastrostomies. Stimulation at a frequency much greater than the nominal basal rate of 3 cycles/min (ie, 12 cycles/min) improved emptying and symptoms in a patient with gastroparesis. It therefore merits further study as a possible therapy for gastroparesis.
- electrical stimulation
- gastric electrical control activity
- gastric emptying
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