Effect of meal ingestion on ileocolonic and colonic transit in health and irritable bowel syndrome

Dig Dis Sci. 2010 Feb;55(2):384-91. doi: 10.1007/s10620-009-1041-8.


Background: Postprandial symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have been associated with increased bowel contractility.

Aim: To compare ileocolonic and colonic responses to feeding in health and IBS.

Methods: We prospectively analyzed data from separate research trials in 122 IBS patients and 41 healthy volunteers. Ileocolonic transit (ICT) was evaluated before (colonic filling [CF]3h) and immediately after (CF4 h) a standard lunch at 3 h 45 min, and 2 h thereafter. The colonic geometric center (GC) was calculated 2 h (GC6 h) after lunch ingested at 4 h (GC4 h) and directly after (GC8 h) a standard dinner ingested at 7 h 45 min.

Results: ICT immediately after eating was higher in IBS diarrhea predominant (IBS-D) patients than in the healthy cohort (23.1 +/- 2.4 vs. 17.5 +/- 2.8%, P = 0.059). ICT 2 h after lunch was similar between groups (P = 0.55). There was significant overall group differences in colonic transit 2 h post-lunch (P = 0.045), particularly in the IBS constipation predominant (IBS-C; GC6-GC4, delta 0.29 +/- 0.08) patients versus healthy volunteers (delta 0.56 +/- 0.12 GC units).

Conclusions: After feeding, ICT is increased in IBS-D, whereas colonic transit is blunted in IBS-C.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Colon / physiology*
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ileum / physiology*
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Reference Values
  • Technetium / administration & dosage


  • Technetium