Effect of colonic distension on small bowel motility measured by jejunal high-resolution manometry

Luis Gerardo Alcala-Gonzalez, Carolina Malagelada Prats, Dan M Livovsky, Fernando Azpiroz Vidaur

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Abnormal motility patterns in the jejunum can be detected in patients with prominent colonic content, and these abnormalities may be due to either a primary jejunal dysfunction or a reflex distortion. The objective of the present study was to determine the effect of colonic distension on small bowel postprandial motility using high-resolution manometry.
Methods: Single center, controlled, parallel, randomized, single blind study in healthy subjects testing the effect of colonic filling vs sham infusion on the responses to a meal in 16 healthy subjects. Nutrients were continuously infused in the proximal jejunum (2 Kcal/min) during the 2-h study period to induce a steady-state postprandial motor pattern. Jejunal motility was measured by water-perfused, high-resolution manometry. After 1 h postprandial recording (basal period), gas was infused during 7.5 min via a rectal tube (720 mL or sham infusion), and jejunal motility was recorded for another hour.
Key Results: Jejunal postprandial motility during the basal period was characterized by two overlapping components: a) continuous segmental activity (non-propagated or shortly propagated) and b) intercurrent propagated fronts (3.8 ± 1.1 fronts of 2-5 clustered contractions/h >10 cm propagation). As compared to sham infusion, colonic gas filling: a) inhibited continuous segmental contractile activity (by 17 ± 4%; p = 0.044 vs control group) and b) stimulated intermittent propagated fronts (up to 9.0 ± 2.2 fronts/h; p = 0.017 vs control group).
Conclusions and Inferences: Long retrograde reflexes induced by colonic distension distort the balance between segmental and propagated activity, and may affect the normal response of the jejunum to food ingestion. Jejunal manometry in patients may be artifacted by colonic overload.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14351
Number of pages8
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022


  • Colonic distension
  • High-resolution manometry
  • Postprandial motility
  • Propagated contractions
  • Small bowel motility


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