Application of electrogastrography to public health.
ABSTRACT In general, gastrointestinal motility tests cause pain; therefore, the establishment of noninvasive methods is desired. Noninvasive methods facilitate the measurement of motility close to the normal physiological state, can provide new findings, and may contribute to the development of associated fields. Electrogastrography (EGG) is a gastrointestinal motility test in which gastrointestinal electric activity is measured. Compared with other gastrointestinal motility measurement methods such as the gastric emptying and internal pressure measurement methods, EGG is noninvasive and allows measurement under minimum restriction; therefore, measurement for a long time is also possible. In addition, since gastrointestinal electric activity, which cannot be quantified using other methods, can be measured, EGG is applicable to the evaluation of the state of the body and pathological conditions, and may provide new findings such as those useful for the prevention of gastrointestinal dysfunction associated with various disorders. EGG is also useful for preventing disorders associated with abnormal gastrointestinal activity such as functional dyspepsia, which has been more frequently observed in recent years, and constipation, which is an extremely frequent complaint in the elderly. Thus, EGG is of marked importance in public health. However, the range of EGG utilizations and applications is still limited at present. Therefore, we outlined the measurement/analysis methods, the advantages and problems of EGG and electrogastroenterography (EGEG), described their clinical importance, and also commented on forefront studies on EGG and evaluated its prospects.