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    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the colonic response to a macrogol challenge drink can be used to assess the mechanisms underlying severe constipation. We measured the intrasubject reproducibility of MRI measures of colonic function to aid their implementation as a possible clinical test. Healthy participants attended for MRI on two occasions (identical protocols, minimum 1 week apart). They underwent a fasted scan and then consumed the macrogol drink. Subjects were scanned at 60 and 120 minutes, with maximum value reached used for comparison. The colonic volume, water content, mixing of colonic content and the movement of the colon walls were measured. Coefficients of variation and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) were calculated. Twelve participants completed the study: nine female, mean age 26 years (SD 5) and body mass index 24.8 kg/m2 (SD 3.2). All measures consistently increased above baseline following provocation with macrogol. The volume, water content and content mixing had good intrasubject reproducibility (ICC volume = 0.84, water content = 0.93, mixing = 0.79, P < .001). With the wall movement, the response to the challenge was generally large, but more variable between visits resulting in a lower ICC overall (ascending colon = 0.65, descending colon = 0.76, P < .001). The colonic response to the macrogol stimulus as assessed by MRI is heterogeneous but large compared to baseline, with moderate to good reproducibility, making the test suitable to study potential pathologies underlying GI disorders such as constipation. More data are needed to better define the normal range for comparison with patient groups who may have both hypo- and hypermotile responses. © 2020 The Authors. Neurogastroenterology & Motility published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    Victoria Wilkinson-Smith, Alex Menys, Christopher Bradley, Maura Corsetti, Luca Marciani, David Atkinson, Carol Coupland, Stuart A Taylor, Penny Gowland, Robin Spiller, Caroline Hoad. The MRI colonic function test: Reproducibility of the Macrogol stimulus challenge. Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society. 2020 Nov;32(11):e13942

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    PMID: 32677154

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