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Article
February 27, 1943

MOTILITY OF THE HUMAN COLON: THE NORMAL PATTERN, DYSKINESIA AND THE EFFECT OF DRUGS

Author Affiliations

CHICAGO

From the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Northwestern University Medical School.

JAMA. 1943;121(9):646-652. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840090016006
Abstract

"Constipation," diarrhea, distention and colic are common complaints which may result from temporary or prolonged alterations of the normal pattern of the colon. Yet there seems to be a paucity of knowledge regarding the motor activity of the human colon and much divergence of opinion regarding its response to stimulating and "antispasmodic" drugs.

Alvarez,1 in summarizing our knowledge, says "The colon is a sluggish organ with few and slow movements. The movements of the haustra are very slow. A few times a day there are 'mass movements' which carry material usually from the transverse colon over into the sigmoid region. Much of the progress of material in it seems to be due to the pressure exerted by new material coming down from above."

The concept that material from above exerts a sort of "plunger" effect on material below is due primarily to the inadequacy of the x-ray method for

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