University Of GothenburgPeople suffering from acute stomach disorders may occasionally undergo chronic vomiting. A thesis from Sahlgrenska Academy claims that this symptom could be treated with electrical impulses from a pacemaker in the stomach. Electrical stimulation seems to result in decreased nausea and lesser days in hospital.

Gastric electrical stimulation had formerly been exhibited to be effectual in most of the diabetics who experience severe vomiting owing to the disease. A new study displays that people with other acute stomach disorders could also gain from this treatment.

Roughly 27 patients were encompassed in a study examining electrical stimulation of the stomach. Roughly 22 had fewer symptoms due to preliminary temporary stimulation Around 20 of these seemed to have a permanent pacemaker surgically introduced into the stomach. Out of the patients who reacted well to momentary stimulation, roughly 90% also appeared to have good outcomes in a long-term follow-up of the surgically inserted pacemaker.

Moreover, the treatment resulted in decreased nausea and vomiting. In a different study of 16 patients, electrical stimulation apparently led to lesser days in hospital in the year subsequent to treatment. Easy temporary stimulation via the skin could be used to recognize the patients who may gain from the treatment.

Junior doctor Stina Andersson, a doctoral student at the Department of Internal Medicine, commented, “We insert gastric electrodes into the patient under local anaesthesia through a small incision in the skin, and these are then connected to an external pacemaker. If the results are positive, we can be relatively certain that treatment with a surgically inserted pacemaker will work for that patient. The next step is to insert a pacemaker using keyhole surgery.”

Based on these findings and preceding studies, gastric electrical stimulation may not appear to affect the stomach locally.

Andersson mentioned, “We believe instead that the stimulation somehow acts on the brain’s centre for nausea and vomiting by activating the neural pathways running from the stomach to the brain.”

A few diabetics suffering from acute symptoms are already being treated clinically with a gastric pacemaker. Other patients with hard-to-treat gastrointestinal disorders may also receive the treatment after vigilant assessment and effective momentary stimulation of the stomach.

Andersson further added that the treatment could, for example, work on intractable nausea following chemotherapy or extreme nausea during pregnancy. No studies have yet been performed in these areas, however.