Gastrointestinal sensation. Mechanisms and relation to functional gastrointestinal disorders

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 1996 Mar;25(1):247-58. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8553(05)70374-5.


This article reviews the basic anatomy and physiology of visceral afferent function and its application to a clearer understanding of visceral pain and symptoms in patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders. Recent investigations have focused on the potential role of visceral tone, different afferent (A delta and C) fibers, dorsal column neurons, and supraspinal modulation in the elicitation of visceral perception of noxious and nonnoxious stimuli arising in the gut. Greater understanding of these pathomechansims and their pharmacologic manipulation offers an opportunity for future therapeutic strategies for these disorders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways / physiology
  • Digestive System Physiological Phenomena*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Sensation / physiology*