• ambulatory manometry;
  • constipation


Colorectal motor activity in slow-transit idiopathic constipation has not been fully evaluated under physiological conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate colorectal motor activity in chronic idiopathic constipation using 24-h ambulant pancolonic manometry. Ten healthy volunteers (six females) 19–31 years of age, and eight females 25–46 years of age with slow-transit idiopathic constipation were studied. Motor activity was measured using two custom-made silicone-coated catheters, each with five solid-state pressure transducers. Bowel preparation or sedation was not used. Frequency of high-amplitude propagated contractions was reduced in chronic idiopathic constipation, median 1.9/24 h vs 6/24 h (P = 0.01). Contractile frequency of low-amplitude complexes was reduced throughout the colon in slow-transit idiopathic constipation (P < 0.0001). The interval between contractile complexes was reduced in the transverse colon and splenic flexure (P < 0.0001). This study demonstrates that colonic motor activity is abnormal in slow-transit idiopathic constipation; decreased motor activity leads to a reduction in propulsion of intraluminal contents.