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Histological Findings in Resected Bowel of Motility-disordered Patients

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Gastrointestinal (GI) motility disorders are prevalent conditions associated with pain and bowel dysfunction. Some motility-disordered patients with intractable symptoms have undergone bowel resection aimed at palliating their symptoms. Our objective was to describe a population of motility-disordered patients with histopathological abnormalities identified in full-thickness surgical biopsies. A retrospective cohort study using prospectively collected clinical data and pathology reports was conducted. All adult patients referred to a tertiary motility clinic from 1996 to 2011 who had bowel resection for motility disorder were consecutively sampled. Fisher’s exact test was used. Ninety-seven patients were referred for motility disorder during this time and pathology reports were available for 62 patients (63.9%). Hypertrophy or hyperplasia of the myenteric plexus was reported in 13 patients (21.0%). These patients were predominantly females with constipation-dominant symptoms. They were more likely to have objective evidence of colonic inertia (P = 0.01) than patients without myenteric plexus hypertrophy/hyperplasia. Consistent histopathologic abnormalities of myenteric plexus hypertrophy/hyperplasia were described in 21 per cent of patients with refractory GI motility disorders referred for surgical management. Our findings contrast with the hypoganglionosis reported in the slow transit constipation literature. Future studies are needed to systematically investigate these novel histologic findings through a follow-up immunohistochemical study of stored bowel specimens.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Western University, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, London, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: 01 February 2015

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