Colonic motor activity

S. K. Sarna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The colon exhibits three types of contractions: individual phasic (short and long duration), organized groups (MMCs and nonmigrating motor complexes), and ultrapropulsive (giant migrating contractions). The individual phasic contractions and the MMCs and nonmigrating motor complexes produce extensive mixing and kneading of fecal material and slow net distal propulsion. The GMCs produce mass movements and expel feces during defecation. All contractions are controlled by myogenic, neural, and chemical mechanisms. The myogenic mechanisms determine the timing and frequency of contractions and the duration and distance of propagation of contractions. The neurochemical mechanisms determine whether the contractions will occur at a given site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1201-1223
Number of pages23
JournalSurgical Clinics of North America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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