No satisfactory treatment is available for obesity. Previous animal studies suggested the therapeutic potential of intestinal electrical stimulation for obesity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of duodenal electrical stimulation (DES) on gastric emptying and water intake in healthy humans.
The study was performed in 12 healthy volunteers intubated with a feeding tube in the duodenum under endoscopy. There were three ring electrodes at the end tip of the tube and the two distal electrodes were used for recording and electrical stimulation. On two separate days, each subject underwent a session of DES with various stimulation parameters, a water-intake test with DES or with sham-DES, and a gastric-emptying test with DES or with sham-DES.
DES did not induce any noticeable dyspeptic symptoms. The amount of water drunk by the subjects was significantly reduced from 897 ± 88 ml with sham-DES to 673 ± 63 ml with DES (p < 0.002). The mean T50 of gastric emptying was significantly increased from 113.1 ± 10.0 min with sham-DES to 176.5 ± 20.8 min with DES state (p < 0.005). The gastric retention at 2 h was increased with DES (42.8 ± 4.5% vs 61.4 ± 4.7%; p < 0.02).
DES delays gastric empting and reduces water intake. It may have a potential application for the treatment of obesity.
Division of Gastroenterology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong Science and Technology University, Wuhan, China; Transneuronix Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas
Reprint requests and correspondence: Jiande Chen, Ph.D., GI Research, Route 0632, Room 221, Microbiology Building, 1108 The Strand, Galveston, TX 77555-0632.
Received March 22, 2004; accepted September 2, 2004.