Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 1040–1045

Impaired colonic motor response to cholinergic stimulation in patients with severe chronic idiopathic (slow transit type) constipation

  • Gabrio Bassotti
  • Giuseppe Chiarioni
  • Bruno Pietro Imbimbo
  • Cesare Betti
  • Fabrizio Bonfante
  • Italo Vantini
  • Antonio Morelli
  • William E. Whitehead
Original Articles


Chronic idiopathic constipation, especially the slow transit type, is a troubling problem often afficting young women. The pathophysiological basis for this entity is unknown, although a defective cholinergic innervation has been postulated. We tested the hypothesis that cholinergic colonic innervation is deranged in this condition by studying colonic motor activity after strong cholinergic stimulation with edrophonium chloride in 14 women complaining of slow transit constipation. Unlike healthy subjects, constipated patients showed minimal or no response to edrophonium injection. It is concluded that in slow transit constipation there is an important alteration of colonic cholinergic activity and that edrophonium chloride may represent a useful test drug for colonic pathophysiological investigations.

Key Words

cholinergic colon constipation edrophonium motility 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabrio Bassotti
    • 1
    • 4
  • Giuseppe Chiarioni
    • 2
  • Bruno Pietro Imbimbo
    • 3
  • Cesare Betti
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Bonfante
    • 2
  • Italo Vantini
    • 2
  • Antonio Morelli
    • 1
  • William E. Whitehead
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratorio di Motilità Intestinale, Istituto di Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia DigestivaUniversità di PerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Divisione di Riabilitazione GastroenterologicaOspedale Clinicizzato di Valeggio sul Mincio, Università di VeronaItaly
  3. 3.Direzione MedicaMediolanum FarmaceuticiMilanoItaly
  4. 4.Center for Study of Functional and Motility Disorders of the Gut, Departments of Psychiatry and MedicineThe Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Francis Scott Key Medical CenterBaltimoreMaryland
  5. 5.Laboratorio di Motilità IntestinaleIstituto di Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia Digestiva, Policlinico MontelucePerugiaItaly

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