Using cutaneous electrodes an electrogastrographic study was made of gastric myoelectrical activity in both the fasting and postprandial states in 48 patients with unexplained nausea and vomiting and in 52 control subjects. A gastric emptying study, using a radio-labelled solid phase meal, was carried out in 30 of these 48 patients. A follow up study was done after one year. In 48% of the patients abnormal myoelectrical activity was found which was characterised by: instability of the gastric pacemaker frequency; tachygastrias in both the fasting and postprandial states; the absence of the normal amplitude increase in the postprandial electrogastrogram. This last characteristic was correlated with a delayed gastric emptying of solids. The present study shows that with electrogastrography in a heterogeneous group of patients with unexplained nausea and vomiting a subgroup can be discerned with abnormal myoelectrical activity. Our findings suggests that this abnormal myoelectrical activity is related to these symptoms.
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