Gastric dysfunction in patients with chronic nausea and vomiting syndromes defined by a noninvasive gastric mapping device

Armen A. Gharibans, Stefan Calder, Chris Varghese, Stephen Waite, Gabriel Schamberg, Charlotte Daker, Peng Du, Saeed Alighaleh, Daniel Carson, Jonathan Woodhead, Gianrico Farrugia, John A. Windsor, Christopher N. Andrews, Greg O'Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic nausea and vomiting syndromes (NVSs) are prevalent and debilitating disorders. Putative mechanisms include gastric neuromuscular disease and dysregulation of brain-gut interaction, but clinical tests for objectively defining gastric motor function are lacking. A medical device enabling noninvasive body surface gastric mapping (BSGM) was developed and applied to evaluate NVS pathophysiology. BSGM was performed in 43 patients with NVS and 43 matched controls using Gastric Alimetry (Alimetry), a conformable high-resolution array (8 × 8 electrodes; 20-mm interelectrode spacing), wearable reader, and validated symptom-logging app. Continuous measurement encompassed a fasting baseline (30 minutes), 482-kilocalorie meal, and 4-hour postprandial recording, followed by spectral and spatial biomarker analyses. Meal responses were impaired in NVS, with reduced amplitudes compared to controls (median, 23.3 microvolts versus 38.0 microvolts, P < 0.001), impaired fed-fasting power ratios (1.1 versus 1.6, P = 0.02), and disorganized slow waves (spatial frequency stability, 13.6 versus 49.5; P < 0.001). Two distinct NVS subgroups were evident with indistinguishable symptoms (all P > 0.05). Most patients (62%) had normal BSGM studies with increased psychological comorbidities (43.5% versus 7.7%; P = 0.03) and anxiety scores (median, 16.5 versus 13.0; P = 0.035). A smaller subgroup (31%) had markedly abnormal BSGM, with biomarkers correlating with symptoms (nausea, pain, excessive fullness, early satiety, and bloating; all r > 0.35, P < 0.05). Patients with NVS share overlapping symptoms but comprise distinct underlying phenotypes as revealed by a BSGM device. These phenotypes correlate with symptoms, which should inform clinical management and therapeutic trial design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberabq3544
JournalScience translational medicine
Issue number663
StatePublished - Sep 21 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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