Background: The pathogenesis of slow transit constipation (STC) remains poorly understood, with intrinsic and extrinsic abnormalities implicated. Here, we present high-resolution colonic manometry recordings from four STC patients recorded before total colectomy, and subsequently, ex vivo, after excision. Methods: In four female, treatment-resistant STC patients (median age 35.5 years), a fiber-optic manometry catheter (72 sensors spaced at 1 cm intervals) was placed with the aid of a colonoscope, to the mid-transverse colon. Colonic manometry was recorded 2 h before and after a meal. After the colectomy, ex vivo colonic manometry was recorded in an organ bath. Ex vivo recordings were also made from colons from 4 patients (2 male; median age 67.5 years) undergoing anterior resection for nonobstructive carcinoma (‘control’ tissue). Key Results: A large increase in ‘short single propagating contractions’ was recorded in STC colon ex vivo compared to in vivo (ex vivo 61.3 ± 32.7 vs in vivo 2.5 ± 5/h). In STC patients, in vivo, the dominant frequency of contractile activity was 2–3 cycle per minute (cpm), whereas 1-cpm short-single propagating contractions dominated ex vivo. This same 1-cpm frequency was also dominant in control colons ex vivo. Conclusions & Inferences: In comparison to control adults, the colon of STC patients demonstrates significantly less propagating motor activity. However, once the STC colon is excised from the body it demonstrates a regular and similar frequency of propagating activity to control tissue. This paper provides interesting insights into the control of colonic motor patterns.
- ex vivo motility
- high-resolution manometry