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J Pediatr Surg. 2009 Feb;44(2):408-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2008.10.100.

Decreased colonic transit time after transcutaneous interferential electrical stimulation in children with slow transit constipation.

Author information

1
Department of Surgical Research, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Idiopathic slow transit constipation (STC) describes a clinical syndrome characterised by intractable constipation. It is diagnosed by demonstrating delayed colonic transit on nuclear transit studies (NTS). A possible new treatment is interferential therapy (IFT), which is a form of electrical stimulation that involves the transcutaneous application of electrical current. This study aimed to ascertain the effect of IFT on colonic transit time.

METHODS:

Children with STC diagnosed by NTS were randomised to receive either 12 real or placebo IFT sessions for a 4-week period. After a 2-month break, they all received 12 real IFT sessions-again for a 4-week period. A NTS was repeated 6 to 8 weeks after cessation of each treatment period where able. Geometric centres (GCs) of activity were calculated for all studies at 6, 24, 30, and 48 hours. Pretreatment and posttreatment GCs were compared by statistical parametric analysis (paired t test).

RESULTS:

Thirty-one pretreatment, 22 postreal IFT, and 8 postplacebo IFT studies were identified in 26 children (mean age, 12.7 years; 16 male). Colonic transit was significantly faster in children given real treatment when compared to their pretreatment NTS at 24 (mean CG, 2.39 vs 3.04; P < or = .0001), 30 (mean GC, 2.79 vs 3.47; P = .0039), and 48 (mean GC, 3.34 vs 4.32; P = .0001) hours. By contrast, those children who received placebo IFT had no significant change in colonic transit.

CONCLUSIONS:

Transcutaneous electrical stimulation with interferential therapy can significantly speed up colonic transit in children with slow transit constipation.

PMID:
19231545
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2008.10.100
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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