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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1986 Jan;64(1):39-43.

Changes in colonic myoelectric spiking activity during stimulation by bisacodyl.


The purpose of this study was to determine some relationships between colonic myoelectric spiking activity and intraluminal propulsion when colonic peristalsis was stimulated by bisacodyl. Myoelectric recordings were obtained in 12 subjects by means of a 50 cm long Silastic tube equipped with four bipolar electrodes fixed at 10-cm intervals. The tube was introduced into the left colon by flexible sigmoidoscopy and the electrodes were located at 50, 40, 30, and 20 cm from the anal verge. A small polyethylene catheter opening at the proximal end of the Silastic tube was used for introducing the laxative into the colon. One hour recording sessions were obtained before and after bisacodyl administration (5 mL of 0.4% solution). The control tracings showed that colonic spiking activity was made of rhythmic stationary bursts that occurred at only one electrode site and of sporadic bursts that were either propagating over the whole colonic segment or nonpropagating. Administration of bisacodyl was followed by complete suppression of the rhythmic stationary activity; a considerable increase in the sporadic spiking activity, propagating as well as nonpropagating; the occurrence of abdominal cramps and urgency to defecate, both associated with the propagating sporadic spike bursts. It is concluded that colonic propulsion induced by bisacodyl may be dependent upon the production of the sporadic bursts, particularly the propagating ones, while the rhythmic stationary bursts do not seem to play a significant role in colonic transit.

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