Autonomic nervous system response to a solid meal and water loading in healthy children: its relation to gastric myoelectrical activity

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2007 May;19(5):376-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2007.00906.x.


The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation of gastric myoelectrical and autonomic activities in healthy children. Simultaneous recordings of electrogastrography (EGG) and electrocardiogram (ECG) were performed in healthy children before and after a solid meal and water loading respectively. The autonomic activity was assessed by spectral analysis of the heart rate variability (HRV). The solid meal resulted in an increase in EGG-dominant frequency (2.92 cpm vs 3.16 cpm, P < 0.05), dominant power (46.9 dB vs 53.7 dB, P < 0.05) and percentage normal slow waves (81.9%vs 89.0%, P < 0.05), while only dominant power increased following water loading. Power in the low-frequency band of HRV (LF) was significantly increased and power in the high-frequency band of HRV (HF) significantly decreased following the solid meal. Postprandial LF was positively and HF negatively correlated with the postprandial increase in EGG-dominant power. Water loading was not associated with any significant changes in HRV parameters. These results suggest that both vagal and sympathetic pathways are involved in modulation of gastric myoelectrical activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autonomic Nervous System / physiology*
  • Child
  • Drinking*
  • Eating*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Stomach* / innervation
  • Stomach* / physiology