Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 1947–1954 | Cite as

Abnormal gastrointestinal motility in patients with celiac sprue

  • Gabrio Bassotti
  • Giuseppe Castellucci
  • Cesare Betti
  • Carla Fusaro
  • Maria Lucia Cavalletti
  • Alberto Bertotto
  • Fabrizio Spinozzi
  • Antonio Morelli
  • Maria Antonietta Pelli
Motility, Nerve-Gut Interactions, Hormones, And Receptors


No study to date has objectively investigated whether the motor behavior of the small bowel is abnormal in celiac sprue. The purpose of this study was to systematically address this topic by means of intraluminal pressure recordings in a series of such patients. Sixteen subjects (nine adults, seven children, age range 2–69 years) with celiac sprue were recruited and studied while untreated. Manometric examination was carried out for 6 hr during fasting and 3 hr after a meal. Adult celiac patients displayed a significantly (mean ±sem) greater frequency of migrating motor complexes in comparison to controls during fasting (4.44±1.6 vs 2.45±0.20,P<0.01), whereas no differences were found in the pediatric group with respect to this variable. Fasting motor abnormalities, chiefly represented by discrete clustered contractions, giant jejunal contractions, and bursts of nonpropagated contractions, were discovered in a high percentage in both groups of celiac subjects (89% in adults and 44% in children, respectively). Similar abnormalities were observed in the postprandial period, especially in adults. In conclusion, patients with celiac sprue frequently display discrete gastrointestinal motor abnormalities, which though perhaps nonspecific may account for several symptoms complained of by such patients.

Key words

celiac sprue intestinal motility 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabrio Bassotti
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Castellucci
    • 1
  • Cesare Betti
    • 1
  • Carla Fusaro
    • 1
  • Maria Lucia Cavalletti
    • 1
  • Alberto Bertotto
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Spinozzi
    • 1
  • Antonio Morelli
    • 1
  • Maria Antonietta Pelli
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Laboratorio di Motilità Intestinale, Clinica di Gastroenterologia ed Endoscopia Digestiva, Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica, Patologia e Farmacologia; Istituto di Clinica Pediatrica; Istituto di Medicina Interna e Scienze OncologicheUniversità degli Studi di PerugiaPerugiaItaly

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