Relationships between motor patterns and intraluminal pressure in the 3-taeniated proximal colon of the rabbit
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Manometry is used worldwide to assess motor function of the gastrointestinal tract, and the measured intraluminal pressure patterns are usually equated with contraction patterns. In the colon, simultaneous pressure increases throughout the entire colon are most often called simultaneous contractions, although this inference has never been verified. To evaluate the relationship between pressure and contraction in the colon we performed high-resolution manometry and measured diameter changes reflecting circular muscle contractions in the rabbit colon. We show that within a certain range of contraction amplitudes and frequencies, the intraluminal pressure pattern faithfully resembles the contraction pattern. However, when the frequency is very high (as in fast propagating contractions in a cluster) the consequent intraluminal pressures merge. When the contraction speed of propagation is very fast (above ~5 cm/s), the resulting pressure occurs simultaneous throughout the colon; hence simultaneous pressure is measured as are caused by fast propagating contractions. The very slow propagating, low amplitude haustral boundary contractions show a very characteristic pattern in spatiotemporal contraction maps that is not faithfully reproduced in the pressure maps. Correct interpretation of pressure events in high-resolution manometry is essential to make it a reliable tool for diagnosis and management of patients with colon motor dysfunction.
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