Manometric investigation of high-amplitude propagated contractile activity of the human colon

Am J Physiol. 1988 Nov;255(5 Pt 1):G660-4. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.1988.255.5.G660.


The motor activity of colonic segments proximal to the rectosigmoid junction are poorly understood. We investigated colonic peristalsis (high-amplitude propagated contractions; HAPCs) in 20 healthy volunteers by means of a colonoscopically positioned manometric probe and low-compliance infusion system. In all, 110 HAPCs were recorded from the ascending, transverse, descending, and sigmoid colon, and their features and daily distribution were analyzed and characterized. Mean frequency was 6.1 +/- 0.9 (SE) per subject per 24 h, mean amplitude was 110.37 +/- 6.3 mmHg, mean duration was 14.15 +/- 0.8 s, and mean propagation velocity was 1.11 +/- 0.1 cm/s. There were no significant differences among colonic segments. Diurnal changes of HAPCs were also noted, with a maximum frequency after meals and after awakening in the morning, and a minimum recorded in the late afternoon and during the night. These HAPCs may represent the manometric equivalent of mass movements.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Colon / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Motility*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manometry / instrumentation
  • Manometry / methods
  • Peristalsis*