Motility: Methods for in vivo Measurements

  • Paul Bass
  • Deborah A. Fox
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 80)


The absorption from, and transport down the gastrointestinal tract is an important, integrated function. It is accomplished in spite of the heterogeneous motor functions of various portions of the tract; every region within the tract is unique in its relationship to lumenal content. For example, the esophagus is essentially a transport organ, carrying a bolus in a caudad fashion through the closed chest cavity into the stomach in approximately 9.5 sec. The stomach is really two organs: a “hopper” or body and a “grinder” or antrum. Both storage, reduction of particle size and approach to isoosmolarity of content occur in this organ. The prime function of the small intestine is absorption of nutrients. The integration of nutrient absorption and caudad propagation of non-absorbable material defies explanation. We do not have a clear idea or even a working hypothesis for the systematic mechanisms of such a multiple meter-length of tubing. The colon, permits us to be civilized. Again, final absorption of water and electrolytes (a spin-drying effect), as well as higher nervous system control, permit us to empty the colon at our convenience. The above general activities of the various areas of the gastrointestinal tract have been known for years.


Gastric Emptying Contractile Activity Intraluminal Pressure TRISODIUM Citrate Myoelectric Activity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Bass
    • 1
  • Deborah A. Fox
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Pharmacy, Center for Health SciencesUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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