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Korean J Gastroenterol. 2003 Nov;42(5):394-399. Korean. Original Article.
Kim YH , Sim SG , Cho KR , Kim JB , Lee OY , Choi HS , Hahm JS , Lee MH .
Department of Internal Medicine, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The colonic transit time in patients with liver cirrhosis has not been studied extensively in South Korea. Thus, the authors investigated the differences of colonic transit time between cirrhotic patients and normal controls with attention to factors that affect this change. METHODS: Fifteen cirrhotic patients and 15 controls were included in this study. To exclude any organic diseases, colonoscopy was preceded. The colonic transit time was measured by taking plain abdominal films on the 4th and 7th days after ingestion of radiographic non-absorbable colon markers for 3 days. RESULTS: The colonic transit time was 10.7 +/- 2.6 hours and 24.0 +/- 4.1 hours for cirrhotic patients and controls, respectively, indicating that the transit time in cirrhotic patients is much faster (p<0.05). The transit time for each segment of the colon was also measured. For the ascending colon, average transit time of the cirrhotic patients and controls were 5.60 +/- 1.93 and 6.88 +/- 1.77 hours respectively. For the descending colon, those were 2.80 +/- 1.04 and 10.80 +/- 2.59 hours (p<0.05), while those in the rectosigimoid portion were 2.32 +/- 0.81 and 4.96 +/- 1.19 hours, respectively. These results indicated that a significant difference is present in the descending colon. Additionally, the transit time is correlated with age and albumin level (B=0.760, p<0.05 and B=7.498, p<0.01, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The colonic transit time of cirrhotic patients is faster than that of control, especially in the descending colon.

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