The Measurement of Colon Motility

  • Marvin M. Schuster


The motor activity of an organ is designed to subserve all of the other functions of the organ. In order to facilitate transit, the esophagus has developed a pattern of motor behavior which we recognize as peristalsis; as soon as a bolus comes into the esophagus, peristalsis very efficiently sweeps it through and moves it out. It would be socially disastrous if that occurred in the colon. The colon can be said to have three functions: dehydration, storage of contents until evacuation becomes socially convenient, and finally evacuation. Each of these three functions is subserved by a special type of physiological motor activity. Segmentation is the major means of effecting storage; and evacuation is achieved, not in a peristaltic manner (because peristalsis rarely occurs in the colon under normal circumstances), but by mass propulsion.


Ulcerative Colitis Irritable Bowel Syndrome Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide Colon Motility Active Contraction 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvin M. Schuster
    • 1
  1. 1.The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Division of Digestive DiseasesBaltimore City HospitalBaltimoreUSA

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