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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 282757, 14 pages
Review Article

Electrogastrography in Adults and Children: The Strength, Pitfalls, and Clinical Significance of the Cutaneous Recording of the Gastric Electrical Activity

1Laboratory of Nutritional Pathophysiology, I.R.C.C.S. “Saverio de Bellis”, Via Turi 27, I-70013 Castellana Grotte (BA), Italy
2Department of Pediatrics, University of Bari, Policlinico, Piazza Giulio Cesare, I-70124 Bari, Italy

Received 4 April 2013; Accepted 13 May 2013

Academic Editor: Miyako Takaki

Copyright © 2013 Giuseppe Riezzo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cutaneous electrogastrography (EGG) is a non-invasive technique to record gastric myoelectrical activity from the abdominal surface. Although the recent rapid increase in the development of electrocardiography, EGG still suffers from several limitations. Currently, computer analysis of EGG provides few reliable parameters, such as frequency and the percentage of normal and altered slow wave activity (bradygastria and tachygastria). New EGG hardware and software, along with an appropriate arrangement of abdominal electrodes, could detect the coupling of the gastric slow wave from the EGG. At present, EGG does not diagnose a specific disease, but it puts in evidence stomach motor dysfunctions in different pathological conditions as gastroparesis and functional dyspepsia. Despite the current pitfalls of EGG, a multitasking diagnostic protocol could involve the EGG and the 13C-breath testing for the evaluation of the gastric emptying time—along with validated gastrointestinal questionnaires and biochemical evaluations of the main gastrointestinal peptides—to identify dyspeptic subgroups. The present review tries to report the state of the art about the pathophysiological background of the gastric electrical activity, the recording and processing methodology of the EGG with particular attention to multichannel recording, and the possible clinical application of the EGG in adult and children.