Response of gastric fundus to rectal distension in healthy persons

Abstract

We aimed to record fundic motor activity in man using the barostat to ascertain if fundic motility is affected by rectal distension. The distal ends of two barostat tubes were placed in the gastric fundus and rectum in 10 healthy volunteers. The gastric bag was first inflated to a constant pressure level that recorded phasic motor activity as changes in volume of the air-filled bag. Baseline motor activity was recorded before, during, and after a 15-min period of constant rectal distension that was clearly perceived by all subjects but was not painful. In all subjects, continuous phasic volume changes, reflecting fundic motor activity, were recorded at a rate of 1–3/min. During rectal distension, a consistent change in mean contractile force of these phasic volume events was not detected; a decrease of more than 30% occurred in only three subjects. We conclude that fundic phasic volume changes are recordable by the barostat, but these are not substantially inhibited by rectal distension.

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