Intestinal tone and gas motion

F. Tremolaterra, J. Serra, F. Azpiroz, J. R. Malagelada, Alberto Villoria Ferrer

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28 Citations (Scopus)


The intestine propels and evacuates large gas loads without detectable phasic contractions by manometry. We hypothesized that intestinal gas motion is produced by changes in gut tone and capacitance. In 13 healthy subjects, changes in duodenal tone were measured by a barostat during continuous perfusion of lipids (Intralipid®, 1 kcal min -1 ) into the duodenum for 60 min. In separate groups, the effects of jejunal gas infusion (N 2 , CO 2 and O 2 in venous proportions at 12 mL min -1 starting after 15 min lipid perfusion) and sham infusion were tested. Gas outflow was collected continuously via an intrarectal cannula. Duodenal lipid perfusion produced a rapid duodenal relaxation (volume increased by 48 ± 18%; P < 0.01 vs basal). Gas infusion increased gas evacuation (184 ± 59 mL), and this was associated with a tonic contraction of the duodenum (R = 0.86; P < 0.01) that completely reverted the lipid-induced duodenal relaxation (volume decreased by 42 ± 13%; P < 0.05). During sham infusion only 52 ± 28 mL of gas were evacuated (P < 0.05 vs gas infusion), and the duodenum remained relaxed due to the effect of lipids (0 ± 1% volume reduction; ns). In conclusion, intestinal gas propulsion and clearance is associated with a tonic contraction of the gut wall and reduced gut capacitance. © 2006 The Authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-910
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


  • Abdominal distension
  • Bloating
  • Gut distension
  • Gut reflexes
  • Gut sensitivity
  • Gut tone
  • Intestinal distension
  • Intestinal gas
  • Intestinal transit


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