Dysrhythmia of the stomach (>4 to ≤9 cycles per minute), known as tachygastria is linked to gastrointestinal problems and hypomotility of the stomach. Generally speaking, healthy preterm newborns spend more time in tachygastria than adults do. As a result, researchers set out to calculate the percentage of time premature newborns spend in tachygastria. They conducted a longitudinal, prospective cohort study with weekly electrogastrography (EGG) recordings in 51 preterm infants (less than 34 weeks gestation) and 5 term (reference) infants. They determined the mean±standard deviation (SD) of the total amount of time spent in tachygastria during EGG recordings (expressed as a percentage).

A mixed effects model was used to test how % tachygastria changed weekly and how gestational age affected the results. Measurements were taken before and after each meal to see if % tachygastria could be repeated. Investigators looked at how long it took for subjects whose tachygastria was within 1 SD of the mean and those whose tachygastria was more than 1 SD from the mean. About 376 EGG sessions were finished (N=56). The mean percentage of tachygastria was 40%, and the standard deviation ±5%. They found that the percentage of tachygastria did not change over 9 weeks after birth (P=0.70), and there was no effect on gestational age.

There was no difference between the pre-prandial (P=0.91) and post-prandial (P=0.96) % tachygastria of the 2 groups. Infants with tachygastria between 35% and 45% (within 1 SD of the mean) were born later and took less time to get full feeds than babies with tachygastria less than 35% and more than 45%. EGG is a tool that can be used again and again to measure tachygastria in premature babies. To determine if 35%–45% tachygastria is safe to feed, more research needs to be done on the clinical significance of increased or decreased % tachygastria.

Source: journals.lww.com/jpgn/Abstract/2022/11000/Tachygastria_in_Preterm_Infants__A_Longitudinal.4.aspx