Inhomogeneities in the propagation of the slow wave in the stomach

W. J. Lammers

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The propagation of the slow wave in the stomach and its role in inducing sweeping peristaltic contractions toward the pylorus, essential for a proper digestion and emptying, have been studied for many years. Irregularities in the timing or in the pattern of propagation of the slow wave have been known to induce various gastric malfunctions and, recently, several types of gastric dysrhythmias have been described which could lead to gastric contraction abnormalities. In this study, Du et al. have analyzed the disturbances caused by a simple transmural incision in a human stomach, performed to obtain a biopsy of the muscle, on the propagation pattern of the slow wave. In addition, they show that such an incision may by itself also induce new types of gastric dysrhythmias. These results are important in demonstrating that the function of the stomach can easily be disturbed by such procedures. This mini-review describes several ways in which inhomogeneities in propagation may affect the conduction pattern of the slow wave, including the genesis of several dysrhythmias, and what is currently known about their impact on gastric contraction and digestion. This mini-review discusses several potential complications following an transmural incision through the anterior wall of the human stomach and the implications on our current knowledge of the normal and the abnormal propagation of the slow wave in that organ. The impacts of such abnormal propagation on the contraction pattern and the digestion in the stomach are also briefly summarized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1353
Number of pages5
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Conduction
  • Conduction blocks
  • Ectopic activity
  • Inhomogeneous propagation
  • Reentrant activities
  • Slow wave

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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