Gastric slow waves, gastrointestinal symptoms and peptides in systemic sclerosis patients

T. A. McNearney, H. S. Sallam, S. E. Hunnicutt, D. Doshi, D. E. Wollaston, M. D. Mayes, J. D.Z. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Impaired gastric slow waves, frequent gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and altered GI peptides have been reported in Scleroderma (SSc) patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations among these three important components in GI dysmotility. Seventeen fasted SSc patients underwent four channel surface electrogastrography, measuring % of normal gastric slow waves or dysrhythmia. Patients completed a questionnaire designed by us to assess demographics, upper and lower GI symptoms (symptom presence, frequency and impact on quality of life, QOL), by YES/NO, Likert Scales and Visual Analogue Scales 1-100 mm (called GI Dysmotility Questionnaire, GIDQ) and health-related QOL by SF-36. Fasting plasma vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and motilin levels were measured by peptide immunoassays. There were significant correlations between percentages of gastric dysrhythmias (bradygastria or arrhythmia) and a number of major GI symptoms such as nausea, abdominal bloating and pain. The plasma level of VIP was correlated positively with % dysrhythmia but negatively with % normal slow waves. Motilin was positively correlated with slow wave coupling (coordination). No major differences were noted in the measured peptides or gastric slow waves between limited SSc and diffuse SSc. Correlations were noted between SF-36 domain scores and our GIDQ scores. In SSc patients, gastric dysrhythmias are correlated with certain GI symptoms. Correlations are also noted between plasma VIP/Motilin levels and gastric slow waves. Thus in SSc, gastric dysrhythmias may be predictive of development of certain dyspeptic symptoms. Plasma VIP may be involved in the development of dysrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1277+e120
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Electrogastrography
  • Gastric slow waves
  • Gastrointestinal hormones
  • Gastrointestinal motility
  • Scleroderma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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