In order to observe the incidence of dysrhythmia in 20 patients who had undergone cholecystectomy, we recorded gastric electrical activity by means of serosal electrodes from the day of surgery to the 6th postoperative day. The difference between the incidence of dysrhythmia on the day of the operation and the other days is statistically significant (t test: p <0.001). Bradygastria was the most frequently observed dysrhythmia, both on the day of surgery and on the following days. It had a frequency of around 1.0-1.5 cpm and the episodes lasted for a minimum of 10 min to a maximum of 105 min (mean duration 32.6 min). Episodes of tachygastria were of varying duration, ranging from a minimum of 3 min to a maximum of 60 min (mean duration 18.5 min), whereas episodes of gastric tachyarrhythmia lasted between 2 min and 21 min (mean duration 5.4 min). Only 1 patient had an episode of nausea and biliary vomiting, associated with an episode of gastric tachyarrhythmia on the 1st postoperative day. None of the other patients had symptoms of impaired gastric function, such as nausea, vomiting, bloating and epigastric pain, at any time during the recording sessions. These findings suggest that in most cases, gastric electrical rhythm returns to normal within 24 h of cholecystectomy and further that gastric dysrhythmia is not related to symptoms of impaired gastric function. The etiological mechanism and clinical significance of gastric dysrhythmia, therefore, are still unclear.
- Gastric electrical activity
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