Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 716–722 | Cite as

Does irradiation produce irreversible changes in canine jejunal myoelectric activity?

  • Robert W. Summers
  • Clyde E. Glenn
  • Andrew J. Flatt
  • Ahmed Elahmady
Original Articles


We sought to determine whether acute irradiation-induced changes in jejunal myoelectric activity are reversible or chronic and progressive with repeated exposures. Five dogs underwent abdominal irradiation absorbing 938 cGy on four separate occasions, two weeks apart. Recordings of jejunal myoelectric activity were made before and 10–11 days after each irradiation exposure. Ten to 11 days after the first exposure, the animals recovered completely from the acute radiation syndrome, and the myoelectric activity returned to normal. After subsequent exposures, they developed chronic diarrhea, profound weight loss, and progressive changes in myoelectric activity. Slow waves exhibited highly variable configuration, had an irregular rhythm, and were frequently uncoupled. Spike burst activity, duration, and length of migration were reduced in association with abnormal motility patterns even though histologic abnormalities were mild. Such changes are likely to interfere with normal propulsion and contribute to impaired nutrition. The abnormalities suggest that irradiation causes dysfunction of one or more of the cellular elements involved in small bowel motility (muscle, nerve, and interstitial cells) prior to the development of severe histologic abnormalities or mechanical obstruction.

Key Words

motility intestine jejunum myoelectric activity irradiation radiation enteritis 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Summers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Clyde E. Glenn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrew J. Flatt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ahmed Elahmady
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Internal MedicineVeterans Administration Medical CenterIowa City
  2. 2.University of Iowa College of MedicineIowa City

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