The effect of electrical stimulation on colonic transit following spinal cord injury in cats

Spinal Cord. 1998 Dec;36(12):847-53. doi: 10.1038/


The effect of direct electrical stimulation on colinic transit and manometric recordings following spinal cord injury were assessed in five adult male cats. Intra-colonic catheters were surgically placed, stimulating electrodes were sutured to the colonic serosa and a laminectomy with spinal cord clamping at a T4 level was done to induce spinal cord injury (SCI). Twenty radiopaque markers were inserted through an intra-colonic catheter located 1 cm distal to the cecum and were monitored with daily fluoroscopy as a measure of colonic transit. Transit measurements were compared before SCI, after SCI and after SCI with electrical stimulation of 40 pps, 1 ms, and 0-50 mA. Colonic transit following SCI was significantly prolonged (P<0.05) when compared to the transit before SCI. Electrical stimulation following SCI improved colonic transit to values not significantly different from those before SCI. Spontaneous colonic phasic motor activity was similar both before and after SCI. Manometric defection patterns were also observed to be similar before SCI and after SCI with electrical stimulation. Based on our scoring criteria, the most frequent response to electrical stimulation was an abdominal contraction. These findings demonstrate that colonic transit is prolonged following SCI and that direct electrical stimulation of the colon following SCI improves colonic transit in an animal model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Colon / physiopathology*
  • Constipation / etiology
  • Constipation / therapy
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / physiology*
  • Male
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*