Ambulatory 24-h colonic manometry in healthy humans

Satish S.C. Rao, Pooyan Sadeghi, Jennifer Beaty, Renae Kavlock, Kris Ackerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

243 Scopus citations


Our aim was to investigate motor activity of the healthy, relatively unprepared colon in the ambulatory state. Twenty-five age- and gender-matched adults had a six-sensor solid-state probe inserted into the proximal transverse colon without sedation. Subjects ambulated freely and ate standard meals. In 528 h of recording, we found a lower (P < 0.05) area under the curve during the night. Waking induced a threefold increase in motility, whereas meals induced a twofold increase. Women showed less activity (P < 0.05) in the transverse/ descending colon than men. The transverse/descending colon showed more (P < 0.05) activity than the rectosigmoid colon. Seven patterns were recognized; predominantly, they were simultaneous, propagated, or periodic bursts of 3-cycles/min (cpm) waves. A specialized propagating pressure wave with a high amplitude (>105 mmHg) and a prolonged duration (>14 s) occurred in all subjects (mean 10/day), mostly after waking, after meals, or with defecation. A 3-cpm motor activity was seen in the rectosigmoid region predominantly at night. The colon exhibits a wide spectrum of pressure activity around the clock, with gender and regional differences and circadian rhythm. This comprehensive study provides qualitative and quantitative normative data for colonic manometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G629-G639
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4 43-4
StatePublished - Apr 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Colon
  • Motility
  • Patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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