Colonic Transit in Spinal Cord-Injured Patients

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This report describes a study of transit time through the colon, as well as the caliber of the colon and distal small bowel, in 28 spinal cord-injured patients to see if there is a correlation between those findings and difficulty with bowel care and symptoms. In 15 of these 28 patients anorectal dynamic studies were also done. Each patient ingested 20 radiopaque markers, after which colon transit times were measured by multiple abdominal radiographs. The width of the ileum was measured and correlated with symptoms. The findings indicate that transit time was delayed in the left and rectosigmoid colon; four patients had a large and highly compliant rectum, whereas six had anorectal dyssynergia. All ten had difficulty with bowel care. The distal small bowel was dilated in ten patients, all of whom had symptoms and nine of whom had spinal cord lesions superior to T5.

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