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Chronic Constipation Linked to Colonic Motor Disturbances

Study suggests four factors can account for most phenotypic variability

TUESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Women with chronic constipation have colonic motor disturbances even if they have normal colonic transit, according to a study in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

Karthik Ravi, M.D., and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., compared colonic tone in 35 healthy women and 111 with chronic constipation. Of the women with chronic constipation, 25 had normal colonic transit, 19 had slow transit, 34 had defecatory disorders and normal transit, and 33 had defecatory disorders and slow transit.

The researchers found that compared with healthy women in the 10th percentile, 40 to 53 percent of women with chronic constipation had reduced fasting and/or postprandial colonic tone and/or compliance. Compliance was significantly lower in women with chronic constipation, except those with normal colon transit. Four factors could account for a total of 85 percent of the phenotypic variability in chronic constipation.

"In summary, intraluminal assessments with a barostat-manometric assembly revealed fasting and postprandial motor disturbances in a majority of patients with chronic constipation," Ravi and colleagues conclude. "Together, these motor assessments allow chronic constipation to be characterized into phenotypes."

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