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Physiol Meas. 2007 Feb;28(2):141-8. Epub 2006 Dec 12.

Simultaneous assessment of the intraluminal pressure and transit time of the colon using a telemetry technique.

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Institute of Medical Precise Instrumentation, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, PR China.


Colonic motility disorders are common conditions. However, our understanding of normal and pathological motor functions of the colon remains limited, mainly due to the technical difficulties in accessing this organ for study. To investigate colonic motility under normal physiological conditions, we have developed a novel monitoring system based on a telemetry technique. The system is capable of prolonged and noninvasive measurement of intraluminal pressure changes and transit time of intra-colonic contents. To test the in vivo performance of the monitoring system, 15 healthy volunteers and 15 patients with functional constipation (FC) participated in this study. A single-use telemetry capsule embedded with sensors was ingested by the subjects. The capsule is capable of transmitting colonic pressure and temperature wirelessly. The time of the telemetry capsule entering the segmental colon was detected by ultrasonic detection of the batteries in capsule. Pressure recordings confirmed in general a circadian behavior of colonic motility, as well as its response to waking and meals. In the FC patients, the contractile response to morning awakening and meal ingestion was significantly lower compared to the controls. The transit time measured using this method agreed with the time calculated from radiopaque markers (r = 0.89, p < 0.05). The clinical study proved both the reliability and the noninvasiveness of the system. This capsule-style manometric system may represent a useful tool for the study of physiology and pathology of colonic motor disorders.

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