Effect of alosetron on left colonic motility in non-constipated patients with irritable bowel syndrome and healthy volunteers

Authors


Dr A. J. P. M. Smout, Department of Gastroenterology, University Medical Center Utrecht, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands. E-mail: a.smout@azu.nl

Abstract

Background:

Alosetron is a 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 receptor antagonist reducing symptoms in female patients with diarrhoea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, and is known to increase the colonic transit time.

Aim:

To study the effect of alosetron on left colonic phasic motility in ambulant non-constipated patients with irritable bowel syndrome and healthy volunteers.

Methods:

In a double-blind, randomized, crossover design, 10 patients with irritable bowel syndrome and 12 sex- and age-matched volunteers were treated for two 7-day periods with alosetron, 4 mg b.d., or placebo b.d. On day 6 of each treatment period, a six-channel solid-state manometric catheter was positioned in the left colon and 24 h motility was studied on day 7. The periprandial phasic motility around dinnertime was evaluated in the descending and sigmoid colon. The high-amplitude propagated contraction frequency and characteristics were calculated.

Results:

Alosetron appeared to increase the overall periprandial frequency in the sigmoid colon (P=0.043) and the mean amplitude of colonic contractions in the descending colon (P=0.007). The high-amplitude propagated contraction frequency was higher on alosetron during the second half of the day for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (P=0.002), with increased mean propagation length of high-amplitude propagated contractions (P=0.001). The stool frequency (P=0.024) and stool consistency score (P=0.002) were decreased by alosetron.

Conclusions:

The 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 receptor antagonist alosetron marginally increased left colonic periprandial phasic motility. Alosetron increased the number and propagation length of high-amplitude propagated contractions, which were paradoxically accompanied by a decrease in stool frequency and a firming of stool consistency.

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