John W. Arkwright, Phil G. Dinning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Gastroenterology can be described as the study of diseases and motor (motility) abnormalities of the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract (gut) where motility refers to the contractions and relaxations of the longitudinal and circular smooth muscle layers of the gut wall. Motility of the GI tract plays a central role in normal digestive health, mixing contents with secretions, exposing them to the surface for absorption of nutrients, and propelling them in a controlled fashion. The human gut is 5 to 7 m in length, extending from the mouth through to the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, and anus, and each of these segments has distinctive motility patterns adapted to their particular functions. The key feature of normal motility is that it involves coordinated patterns of muscular contraction and relaxation, distributed over considerable lengths of gut and all hidden within the body. A primary aim of the modern gastroenterologist therefore is to infer this activity in the least invasive manner possible in order to determine the normal physiology and importantly the pathophysiology of their patients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Physiological Measurement Handbook
EditorsJohn G. Webster
Place of PublicationBoca Raton, FL
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781439808481
ISBN (Print)9781439808474
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2014

Publication series

NameSeries in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group


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