An electrogastrography can determine if abnormal electric activity of the stomach is causing nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain. Electrogastrography refers to the method of recording electrogastrograms (EGGs), which are noninvasive recordings of the electrical activity of the stomach. Electrical activity of the stomach controls the timing and speed of gastric peristaltic contractions. The peristaltic contractions are responsible for mixing and emptying food that is eaten throughout the day.
In a healthy person, the stomach’s electrical rhythm is set by a “pacemaker” to about three cycles per minute. Gastric dysrhythmias (abnormal rhythms) occur if the electrical activity is too fast (tachygastria) or too slow (bradygastria). Gastric dysrhythmias are common when a person is experiencing nausea, functional dyspepsia (indigestion) and gastroparesis (the inability of your stomach to empty food). Often, prescribed medications can relieve gastric dysrhythmias and improve the symptoms of chronic nausea and vomiting.
About the Electrogastrography Procedure
The test is recorded for 30 minutes in the fasting state and then for one to two hours after an appropriate test meal. The test meal may consist of two scrambled eggs, two pieces of white bread with one packet of butter and four ounces of orange juice or two slices of turkey with two slices of white bread with one package of mayonnaise and one can of Ensure®.
Some patients may have irritation of the skin at the electrode sites.
Discuss with your doctor discontinuing use of all drugs that can affect gastric motility, such as prokinetics (Reglan®, Propulsid®, Domperidone®, Erythromycin, Zelnorm®), narcotics, anticholinergics (Bentyl®, Levsin®, Donnatal®), antiemetics (Compazine®, Tigan®, Zofran®), NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Motrin®, Advil®), antidepressants, oral contraceptives, tobacco and alcohol.
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight prior to the day of your test. You will be admitted as an outpatient and staff will take your vital signs. This test requires no premedication.
You may drive yourself home after the procedure.
Houston Methodist provides diagnostic testing, including electrogastrography, at the following convenient locations.