Colonic transit time and constipation in children with spastic cerebral palsy

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004 Mar;85(3):453-6. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(03)00479-9.


Objectives: To evaluate colonic motility and to investigate contributing factors to colonic dysmotility in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP).

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: A university-based rehabilitation hospital.

Participants: Thirty-eight children with spastic CP.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: Colonic transit time was measured by using a Sitzmarks. The nutrient intake during 3 consecutive days was analyzed by using the ESHA Food Processor program.

Results: A significant relationship between colon transit time and stool frequency was observed (P<.05). All children with constipation and 17 (60.8%) of 28 without constipation showed an abnormal segmental colon transit time in at least 1 segment of the colon. A transit time delay at the proximal segment of colon was remarkable in CP children with constipation. In children without constipation, a transit time delay was marked at the rectosigmoid colon only. Constipation and transit time delay were significantly related to ambulatory function (P<.05).

Conclusions: A transit time delay at total or segmental colon was frequently observed in children with CP. Constipation and colonic motility were related to ambulatory function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / complications
  • Cerebral Palsy / pathology
  • Cerebral Palsy / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / etiology
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / physiopathology*
  • Constipation / etiology
  • Constipation / physiopathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Time Factors