Slow colonic transit

Case contributed by Dr Vikas Shah

Presentation

Chronic constipation

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Female

Day 1

X-ray

Markers are scattered throughout abdomen, particularly concentrated in pelvis and likely to be within small bowel loops. Solid fecal matter throughout large bowel.

Day 5

X-ray

16 of the 20 markers are retained on day 5, located within the descending and sigmoid colon and rectum.

Case Discussion

There are numerous variations in how a colonic transit study is conducted and how the findings are interpreted. In this case, 20 markers are ingested and an abdominal x-ray taken 4 hours later (day 1). Another abdominal x-ray is taken 96 hours later, labeled as day 5. If more than 4 markers (i.e. more than 20%) are seen, there is slow colonic transit.

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