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Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Feb;22(2):154-60, e49. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.2009.01397.x. Epub 2009 Sep 7.

Motility of the oesophagus and small bowel in adults treated for Hirschsprung's disease during early childhood.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Oslo University Hospital, Ullevål, Oslo, Norway.



Dysmotility of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract has been reported in children with Hirschsprung's disease (HD). In the present study, motility of the oesophagus and the small bowel was studied in adults treated for HD during early childhood to elucidate whether there are alterations in motility of the upper GI tract in this patient group. [Correction added after online publication 15 Sep: The preceding sentence has been rephrased for better clarity.]


Ambulatory small bowel manometry with recording sites in duodenum/jejunum was performed in 16 adult patients with surgically treated HD and 17 healthy controls. In addition, oesophageal manometry was performed with station pull-through technique.


The essential patterns of small bowel motility were recognized in all patients and controls. During fasting, phase III of the migrating motor complex (MMC) was more prominent in patients with HD than in controls when accounting for duration and propagation velocity (P = 0.006). Phase I of the MMC was of shorter duration (P = 0.008), and phase II tended to be of longer duration (P = 0.05) in the patients. During daytime fasting, propagated clustered contractions (PCCs) were more frequent in the patients (P = 0.01). Postprandially, the patients demonstrated a higher contractile frequency (P = 0.02), a shorter duration of contractions (P = 0.008) and more frequent PCCs (P < 0.001). The patients had normal oesophageal motility.


This study demonstrates that adult patients with HD have preserved essential patterns of oesophageal and small bowel motility. However, abnormalities mainly characterized by increased contractile activity of the small bowel during fasting and postprandially are evident. These findings indicate alterations in neuronal control of motility and persistent involvement of the upper GI tract in this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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