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Keywords:

  • antidepressant;
  • colonic motility;
  • constipation;
  • manometry;
  • transit

The aim of this study was to determine whether the colonic motor profile of seven patients with constipation secondary to antidepressants differed from the motility of seven patients with idiopathic constipation and seven healthy volunteers. All constipated patients had very severe constipation. Colonic manometric recordings were performed for 24 h. The number of high amplitude propagating contractions (HAPC) was lower in the two groups of constipated patients than in controls. No HAPC were observed in 5/7 patients with constipation secondary to antidepressants and in 1/7 patients with idiopathic constipation. The overall area under the curve (AUC) in the left colon was lower in the two constipated patient groups than in controls. AUC increased after a 1000-kcal standard meal given at noon in controls but not in the two groups of constipated patients. In conclusion, in patients with constipation secondary to antidepressants, the overall AUC was as poor as in patients with idiopathic constipation, and no colonic response to eating was observed. Moreover, the number of HAPC was more markedly decreased in patients with constipation secondary to antidepressants than in patients with idiopathic constipation.