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J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2010 Apr;16(2):120-30. doi: 10.5056/jnm.2010.16.2.120. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

Asian motility studies in irritable bowel syndrome.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


Altered motility remains one of the important pathophysiologic factors in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) who commonly complain of abdominal pain and stool changes such as diarrhea and constipation. The prevalence of IBS has increased among Asian populations these days. Gastrointestinal (GI) physiology may vary between Asian and Western populations because of differences in diets, socio-cultural backgrounds, and genetic factors. The characteristics and differences of GI dysmotility in Asian IBS patients were reviewed. MEDLINE search work was performed including following terms, 'IBS,' 'motility,' 'transit time,' 'esophageal motility,' 'gastric motility,' 'small intestinal motility,' 'colonic motility,' 'anorectal function,' and 'gallbladder motility' and over 100 articles were categorized under 'esophagus,' 'stomach,' 'small intestine,' 'colon,' 'anorectum,' 'gallbladder,' 'transit,' 'motor pattern,' and 'effect of stressors.' Delayed gastric emptying, slow tansit in constipation predominant IBS patients, rapid transit in diarrhea predominant IBS patients, accelerated motility responses to various stressors such as meals, mental stress, or corticotrophin releasing hormones, and altered rectal compliance and altered rectal accomodation were reported in many Asian studies regarding IBS. Many conflicting results were found among these studies and there are still controversies to conclude these as unique features of Asian IBS patients. Multinational and multicenter studies are needed to be performed vigorously in order to elaborate characteristics as well as differences of altered motililty in Asian patients with IBS.


Asia; Gastrointestinal motility; Irritable bowel syndrome

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