Gastric stimulation: influence of electrical parameters on gastric emptying in control and diabetic rats

BMC Surg. 2002 Jul 30;2:5. doi: 10.1186/1471-2482-2-5.

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to test the effect of different pulse frequencies and amplitudes during gastric stimulation (GS) on gastric emptying in the rat.

Methods: GS was performed in 2 groups of laparotomized rats: healthy control animals, and rats with acute diabetes. The effects of four pulse frequencies (0.5, 1, 10, 20 Hz) and three pulse amplitudes (5, 20, 40 mA) were tested. The volumes emptied from the stomach after the oro-gastric instillation of a nutrient solution were compared to those obtained in animals without GS. Intragastric pH values were assessed under basal conditions and after GS.

Results: In both groups, GS increased emptied volumes compared to conditions without stimulation (p < 0.05) for pulse frequencies above 0.5 Hz. Increases in pulse frequencies accelerated gastric emptying (p < 0.01) with a plateau at around 10 Hz. The increase in pulse amplitudes resulted in larger emptied volumes only when the pulse frequency was 1 Hz (p < 0.04) while the opposite effect was observed at 20 Hz (p < 0.04). The most effective combinations to enhance gastric emptying compared to baseline conditions were 10 Hz with 5 or 20 mA. The overall effect of GS on gastric emptying compared to baseline conditions without stimulation, was greater in diabetic than in controls rats (p < 0.05). During stimulation, intragastric pH values were not different from basal conditions during fasting or after a meal in control and diabetic rats.

Conclusions: Although both pulse frequency and amplitude should be considered during GS, frequency appears to be the most critical point. The possibility of increasing gastric emptying by electrical stimulation in diabetic rats suggests potential clinical applications for this method.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / physiopathology*
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Electricity
  • Gastric Acid / metabolism
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology*
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Rats
  • Reference Values
  • Statistics, Nonparametric