Chronic constipation: Lessons from animal studies

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    Abstract

    Chronic constipation is a highly debilitating condition, affecting a significant proportion of the community. The burden to the health care system and impact on individual patients quality of life is immense. Unfortunately, the aetiology underlying chronic constipation is poorly understood and animal models are being used increasingly to investigate possible intrinsic neurogenic and myogenic mechanisms leading to relevant colonic sensori-motor dysfunction. Recently, major advances have been made in our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie propagating contractions along the large intestine, such as peristalsis and colonic migrating motor complexes in laboratory animals, particularly in guinea-pigs and mice. The first recordings of cyclical propagating contractions along the isolated whole human colon have now also been made. This review will highlight some of these advances and how impairments to these motility patterns may contribute to delayed colonic transit, known to exist in a proportion of patients with chronic constipation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-71
    Number of pages13
    JournalBest Practice and Research in Clinical Gastroenterology
    Volume25
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011

    Keywords

    • Colon
    • Colonic migrating motor complex
    • Constipation
    • Peristalsis

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