Motility response to colonic distention is increased in postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS)

M. Kanazawa, O. S. Palsson, M. A.L. van Tilburg, L. M. Gangarosa, S. Fukudo, W. E. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Acute intestinal infection leads to persistent intestinal smooth muscle hypercontractility and pain hypersensitivity after resolution of the infection in animal models. We investigated whether postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) is associated with abnormalities in phasic contractions of the colon, smooth muscle tone, and pain sensitivity compared to non-PI-IBS (NI-IBS) or healthy controls (HC). Methods: Two hundred and eighteen Rome III-positive IBS patients and 43 HC participated. IBS patients were designated PI-IBS, if their IBS symptoms began following an episode of gastroenteritis characterized by two or more of: fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Pain threshold to phasic distentions of the descending colon was assessed using a barostat. Colonic motility was assessed with the barostat bag minimally inflated to the individual operating pressure (IOP), at 20 mmHg above the IOP, and following a test meal. IBS symptom severity and psychological symptoms were assessed by the IBS Severity Scale (IBS-SS) and the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18). Key Results: Twenty two (10.1%) met criteria for PI-IBS. Both IBS and HC groups showed a significant increase in motility index during intraluminal distention and following meals. The magnitude of the response to distention above (orad to) the balloon was significantly greater in PI-IBS compared with NI-IBS (p < 0.05) or HC (p < 0.01). Differences between PI-IBS and NI-IBS were not significant for IBS symptom severity, pain threshold, barostat bag volumes, or any psychological score on the BSI-18. Conclusions & Inferences: Patients with PI-IBS have greater colonic hypercontractility than NI-IBS. We speculate that sustained mild mucosal inflammation may cause this colonic irritability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696-704
Number of pages9
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May


  • Colonic motility
  • Gut inflammation
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Visceral sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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