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Publication Detail
Esophageal myoelectric responses to magnetic stimulation of the human cortex and the extracranial vagus nerve
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Aziz Q, Rothwell JC, Barlow J, Hobson A, Alani J, Bancewicz J, Thompson DG
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
    5 30-5
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
We describe the use of magnetic stimulation of the human motor cortex and the extracranial vagus nerve in the neck to study human esophageal electromyographic (EMG) responses. Diffuse cortical stimulation produced both an early and a late EMG response in the proximal esophagus with latencies of 10.9 ± 0.5 and 43.4 ± 4.3 ms, respectively. Increasing the stimulation intensity increased the amplitude and duration, but reduced the latency, of the early response (P < 0.01), whereas the late response remained unchanged. The early response, but not the late response, was facilitated when cortical stimulation was performed during valsalva maneuver. Maximal early response amplitudes were obtained by focal stimulation of either hemisphere 4-8 cm lateral to the vertex. Stimulation of the neck over the extracranial vagus nerve at the angle of the jaw also produced an early and a late EMG response in the proximal esophagus with latencies of 4.3 ± 0.4 and 56.8 ± 14.5 ms, respectively. Early responses were also recorded in the midesophagus and distal esophagus from either cortical or vagal stimulation, but amplitudes were smaller and rise times were longer, suggesting passive 'volume conduction' from the proximal esophagus. Comparison of laryngeal, pharyngeal, and esophageal early EMG responses showed similar amplitudes and rise times, suggesting that the action potentials were generated locally at each site and that true esophageal responses were being detected.
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