Colorectal sensation and motility

Vineet S. Gudsoorkar, Eamonn M.M. Quigley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To critically evaluate recent advances in the anatomy and physiology of colorectal motility and sensation and to discuss their potential clinical implications. RECENT FINDINGS: Relatively noninvasive methods for the assessment of colonic transit have been developed and validated and high-resolution colonic and anorectal manometry as well as the barostat, despite their technical challenges, are beginning to show promise in clinical practice. At a more basic level, the importance of interstitial cells of Cajal as pacemakers, neuromodulators and stretch receptors has been revealed and their dysfunction associated with a number of disease states. Although the impact of a variety of biologically active agents on colonic sensorineural function in vitro has been described, the clinical implications of most of these effects remain unknown at this time. As the molecular bases of colonic motor and sensory function are identified, new disease entities are being described and novel therapeutic targets revealed. Equally important is the growing recognition of luminal factors and of the colonic microbiota, in particular, in the generation and modulation of colonic motility and sensation. SUMMARY: The complexities of the basic physiology of colorectal motility and sensation continue to be revealed and our understanding of their regulation has progressed; clinical implications remain at a preliminary stage. Progress has been made, however, in the clinical assessment of colonic motor function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent opinion in gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • barostat
  • colonic motility
  • colonic sensation
  • interstitial cells of Cajal
  • manometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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