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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X

Abstract

SANTOS, S.L.; BARCELOS, I.K.  and  MESQUITA, M.A.. Total and segmental colonic transit time in constipated patients with Chagas’ disease without megaesophagus or megacolon. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2000, vol.33, n.1, pp. 43-49. ISSN 1414-431X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2000000100006.

Manometric and pharmacological tests have shown that motor abnormalities may occur in the non-dilated colons of chagasic patients. In order to investigate the presence of abnormalities of colonic function in constipated patients with Chagas’ disease (ChC) without megaesophagus or megacolon, studies of total and segmental colonic transit time with radiopaque markers were performed on 15 ChC patients, 27 healthy volunteers and 17 patients with idiopathic constipation (IC). The values obtained for the control group were similar to those reported in the literature (total colonic time: 34.1 ± 15.6 h; right colon: 9.9 ± 7.3 h; left colon: 10.8 ± 10 h, and rectosigmoid: 12.6 ± 9.9 h). Colonic transit time data permitted us to divide both IC and ChC patients into groups with normal transit and those with slow colonic transit. Colonic inertia was detected in 41% of IC patients and in 13% of ChC patients; left colon isolated stasis (hindgut dysfunction) was detected in 12% of IC patients and 7% of ChC patients, and outlet obstruction was detected in 6% of IC patients and 7% of ChC patients. There were no significant differences in total or segmental colonic transit times between slow transit IC and slow transit ChC patients. In conclusion, an impairment of colonic motility was detected in about 30% of constipated patients with Chagas’ disease without megaesophagus or megacolon. This subgroup of patients presented no distinctive clinical feature or pattern of colonic dysmotility when compared to patients with slow transit idiopathic constipation.

Keywords : colonic transit; Chagas’ disease; constipation; radiopaque markers; American trypanosomiasis.

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