Efficacy of electrical stimulation at frequencies higher than basal rate in canine stomach

Dig Dis Sci. 1997 May;42(5):892-7. doi: 10.1023/a:1018804128695.


The optimum frequency for electrically stimulating motility in the stomach is still in question. Some studies of gastric electrical stimulation (GES) at near physiologic frequencies have reported gastric electrical entrainment but with little efficacy in improving motility. In this study we examined the effectiveness of electrical stimulation at a broad range of frequencies in entraining gastric electrical activity (GEA) and eliciting contractions in a canine model. The stomachs of six dogs, each implanted with four pairs of stainless steel electrodes and two strain gauges were stimulated at frequencies ranging from 3 to 30 cycles/min. GEA and contractions were monitored before and during electrical stimulation. The ability of GES at different frequencies to reverse the effect of glucagon was also investigated. GEA was entrained in most animals at frequencies close to the intrinsic rate as well as at four to five times the intrinsic rate. At other stimulation frequencies, the recorded electrical control activity either remained unchanged, uncoupled, or became dysrhythmic. Contractile response to stimulation at four to five times the intrinsic rate were significantly higher than those at frequencies close to the intrinsic rate (P < 0.05). GES did not alter the effect of glucagon. Stimulation at a frequency of four times the basal rate of 5/min elicited the largest motility index in dogs. Stimulation at frequencies much higher than the physiologic rate warrants further study as a possible optimum range for GES.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology
  • Glucagon / pharmacology
  • Stomach / drug effects
  • Stomach / physiology


  • Glucagon