Segmental colonic transit time

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Mean segmental transit time of radiopaque markers through the right colon, left colon and rectosigmoid areas of adults and children has been calculated from their distribution on consecutive plain films of the abdomen. Overall mean transit does not differ significantly in the large bowel between adults and children. However, there are regional differences within the colon in relation to age. Mean transit time in the right colon is 13.8 hours in adults and 7.7 in children (p<0.01). Corresponding values in the left colon are 14.1 and 8.7 hours (p<0.02) and, in the rectum, 11 and 12.4 hours (p=NS). The percentage of the mean total large bowel transit time spent in the right colon, left colon and rectosigmoid area are respectively for adults and children 33±4 and 28±3 per cent (p=NS); 39±4 and 32±4 per cent (p=NS); and 28±4 and 41±4 per cent (p<0.05), indicating a relative stagnation in the rectosigmoid area of children. These physiologic differences may have implications in diseased states.

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