What we have learned about colonic motility: Normal and disturbed

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Disorders of colonic motor and sensory function are common among children and adults and pose significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenges; the purpose of this review, therefore, was to critically assess the recent literature on this topic. Recent Findings: Considerable progress has been made at the ultrastructural, molecular and electrophysiological level in understanding the normal functions of the muscles, nerves and interstitial cells that generate and control colonic motility. Furthermore, abnormalities in these cell types and in the interstitial cells of Cajal, in particular, have been identified in a number of disease states. Testing of colonic motor and sensory function in clinical practice continues to be a challenge due, in part, not only to the technical issues presented by accessing the organ but also to the intrinsic variability of its physiology. These have not been auspicious times for advances in the therapy of disturbed colonic motility; new agents or new applications for 'old' agents continue to be explored as are more innovative approaches such as those based on neural stimulation and cell therapy. Summary: Considerable progress has been made in understanding the basic pathophysiology of colonic dysmotility; clinical diagnostics and therapeutics continue to lag behind.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Colon transit
  • Colonic motor function
  • Enteric nervous system
  • Interstitial cells of Cajal
  • Manometry
  • Motility
  • Prokinetic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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