Neurogastroenterology and Motility vol:16 issue:1 pages:107-11
Patients with slow transit constipation frequently have delayed gastric emptying. In animals rectal distensions inhibit gastrointestinal motility. In healthy volunteers isovolumetric rectal distensions delay upper gut transit. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of continuous isobaric rectal distension on gastric emptying and oro-cecal transit in young females. Using validated 13C octanoic and lactose-[13C] ureide breath tests gastric half-emptying time and oro-cecal transit time for a meal were measured in 12 volunteers. The tests were repeated in randomized order: during isobaric balloon distension and during sham distension. Isobaric rectal distension was applied using a polyethylene bag connected to a barostat. Intraballoon pressure was kept just below the threshold for the urge sensation. Mean gastric half-emptying time during rectal distension (92.3 +/-5.1 min) was significantly higher than during sham distension (78.8 +/- 4 min; P = 0.015). Mean oro-cecal transit time during rectal distension (391.3 +/-29.1 min) and sham distension (328.8 +/- 38.4 min) were not significantly different. In conclusion, these findings indicate that isobaric rectal distension inhibits gastric emptying, but not small bowel transit in young healthy women. Studies in patients with constipation are indicated.