Background: The mucosal response to intestinal resection has been extensively studied; little is known of the motor response. Our aim was to evaluate motility in the intestinal remnant following distal resection. Methods: Motor activity, duodenocecal transit, nutrition, and absorption were studied over a 3-month period in control animals (n = 9) and in groups of dogs who had undergone 25% (n = 6), 50% (n = 5), and 75% (n = 5) distal resection. Results: Diarrhea and steatorrhea developed in each resection group, and the 75% group alone developed true short bowel syndrome. Resection did not affect migrating motor complex frequency or periodicity; phase 1 duration was shorter in the 75% group (control vs. 75%: 22 ± 4 vs. 6 ± 2 minutes, P < 0.03). The most striking motor effect was the development of prominent cluster activity in the distal part of the remnant in 25% and 50% resection animals and throughout the remaining intestine in the 75% group. Duodenocecal transit slowed during the study period from 13 ± 1 to 20 ± 2 minutes in the 50% and from 10 ± 2 to 14 ± 2 minutes in the 75% group (P < 0.05). Conclusions: The initial motor response to major resections of the distal small intestine is dominated by the development of abnormal patterns. This motor disruption may contribute to the symptomatology and clinical features of the short bowel syndrome.
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