The motility of the stomach is coordinated by an electrical activity termed "slow waves", and slow-wave dysrhythmias contribute to motility disorders. One major method for clinically evaluating gastric dysrhythmias has been electrogastrography (EGG); however, the clinical utility of EGG is limited partly due to the uncertainty regarding its electrophysiological basis. In this study, a multiscale model of gastric slow waves was generated from a biophysically based continuum description of cellular electrical events, coupled with a subject-specific human stomach model and high-resolution electrical mapping data. The model was then applied using a forward-modeling approach, within an anatomical torso model, to define how slow wave activity summates to generate the EGG potentials. The simulated EGG potentials were shown to be spatially varying in amplitude (0.27-0.33 mV) and duration (9.2-15.3 s), and the sources of this variance were quantified with respect to the activation timings of the underlying slow wave activity. This model constitutes an improved theory of the electrophysiological basis of the EGG, and offers a framework for optimizing the placement of EGG electrodes, and for interpreting the EGG changes occurring in disease states.
Copyright © 2010 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.