American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society consensus statement on intraluminal measurement of gastrointestinal and colonic motility in clinical practice

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Tests of gastric, small intestinal and colonic motor function provide relevant physiological information and are useful for diagnosing and guiding the management of dysmotilities. Intraluminal pressure measurements may include concurrent measurements of transit or intraluminal pH. A consensus statement was developed and based on reports in the literature, experience of the authors, and discussions conducted under the auspices of the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society in 2008. The article reviews the indications, methods, performance characteristics, and clinical utility of intraluminal measurements of pressure activity and tone in the stomach, small bowel and colon in humans. Gastric and small bowel motor function can be measured by intraluminal manometry, which may identify patterns suggestive of myopathy, neuropathy, or obstruction. Manometry may be most helpful when it is normal. Combined wireless pressure and pH capsules provide information on the amplitude of contractions as they traverse the stomach and small intestine. In the colon, manometry assesses colonic phasic pressure activity while a barostat assesses tone, compliance, and phasic pressure activity. The utility of colonic pressure measurements by a single sensor in wireless pressure/pH capsules is not established. In children with intractable constipation, colonic phasic pressure measurements can identify patterns suggestive of neuropathy and predict success of antegrade enemas via cecostomy. In adults, these assessments may be used to document severe motor dysfunction (colonic inertia) prior to colectomy. Thus, intraluminal pressure measurements may contribute to the management of patients with disorders of gastrointestinal and colonic motility.

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