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Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Apr;95(4):1027-35.

Spatial and temporal organization of pressure patterns throughout the unprepared colon during spontaneous defecation.

Author information

1
Department of Gastroenterology, The St. George Hospital, University of New South Wales, Kogarah, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine colonic motor events associated with spontaneous defecation in the entire unprepared human colon under physiological conditions.

METHODS:

In 13 healthy volunteers a perfused, balloon-tipped, 17-lumen catheter (outer diameter, 3.5 mm; intersidehole spacing, 7.5 cm) was passed pernasally and positioned in the distal unprepared colon.

RESULTS:

In the hour before spontaneous defecation, there was an increase in propagating sequence frequency (p = 0.04) and nonpropagating activity when compared to basal conditions (p < 0.0001). During this hour the spatial and temporal relationships among propagating sequences demonstrated a biphasic pattern. Both the early (proximal) and late (distal) colonic phases involved the whole colon and were characterized by respective antegrade and retrograde migration of site-of-origin of arrays of propagating sequences. There was a negative correlation between propagating sequence amplitude and the time interval from propagating sequence to stool expulsion (p = 0.008).

CONCLUSIONS:

The colonic motor correlate of defecation is the colonic propagating sequence, the frequency and amplitude of which begin to increase as early as 1 h before stool expulsion. During the preexpulsive phase, the spatial and temporal relationship among the sites of origin of individual propagating sequences demonstrate a stereotypic anal followed by orad migration, which raises the possibility of control by long colocolonic pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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