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Keywords:

  • diabetes mellitus;
  • gastric electrophysiology;
  • gastropathy;
  • hyperglycaemia

Abstract  Acute hyperglycaemia in healthy humans disrupts slow wave rhythm similar to that observed in diabetic gastropathy, but hyperglycaemic effects on regional dysrhythmias, power, coupling and propagation are unexplored. Using mucosal mapping, we aimed to demonstrate that hyperglycaemia elicits region-specific tachygastria and evokes slow wave uncoupling between adjacent regions. Catheters with bipolar electrodes were affixed 10.5, 6 and 2 cm from the pylorus during endoscopy with midazolam in 10 healthy humans. Recordings were obtained for 1 h under basal conditions and for 1 h with hyperglycaemic clamping to 250 mg dL−1. In basal recordings, proximal and distal slow wave frequencies were similar [2.91 ± 0.05 vs 2.81 ± 0.09 cycles per minute (cpm)]. Tachygastria (>3.6 cpm) was present 1.7 ± 1.1% of the time proximally and 3.3 ± 1.8% distally and localized to one lead 67% of the time. Proximal to distal gradients in signal power and power variability were observed. Coupling between adjacent sites was 78 ± 2% with propagation velocities of 1.3 ± 0.1 cm s−1. 2 ± 1% of segments showed >50% uncoupling. Hyperglycaemic clamping increased mean proximal (3.18 ± 0.11 cpm) and distal (3.50 ± 0.12 cpm) frequencies and proximal (15 ± 6%) and distal (32 ± 9%) tachygastria (all P < 0.01) that localized to one lead 80% of the time. During periods of normal frequency, coupling decreased proximally (54 ± 6%) and distally (47 ± 4%) (P < 0.01). 55 ± 8% of segments showed >50% uncoupling (P < 0.01). In conclusion, gastric slow waves show stable, highly coupled rhythms under basal conditions. Hyperglycaemia elicits isolated tachygastrias and uncoupling of normal slow waves that are most prominent distally. These findings provide a foundation for studying slow wave conduction defects in diabetic gastropathy.