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Motility and functional disorders of the small intestine, the colon and the anorectum can induce or contribute to symptoms such as diarrhoea, constipation and abdominal pain and may impair nutrient absorption in severe cases. Acute affections of intestinal functions e.g. during gastrointestinal infections usually need no functional diagnostics but resolve spontaneously or with adequate therapy of the underlying disease. By contrast, chronic disturbances of small intestinal, colonic and anorectal motility and/or sensitivity are subject to gastrointestinal function tests. The role of these tests for diagnosis and therapeutic handling of severe intestinal dysmotility/chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, severe constipation, diarrhoea, fecal incontinence and irritable bowel syndrome will be discussed in this review that mainly focuses on adults.


Jutta Keller, Peter Layer. Intestinal and anorectal motility and functional disorders. Best practice & research. Clinical gastroenterology. 2009;23(3):407-23

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PMID: 19505668

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