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Ann Rehabil Med. 2019 Feb;43(1):19-26. English. Randomized Controlled Trial.
Yun YC , Yoon YS , Kim ES , Lee YJ , Lee JG , Jo WJ , Lee KJ .
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Presbyterian Medical Center, Jeonju, Korea.
Medical Device Clinical Trial Center, Presbyterian Medical Center, Jeonju, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Presbyterian Medical Center, Jeonju, Korea.


To investigate the effects of the transabdominal functional magnetic stimulation (A-FMS) for constipation in stroke or brain-injured patients.


Twenty-four brain-injured patients (11 males and 13 females; median age, 65 years; 22 cases of stroke and 2 cases of traumatic brain injury) with constipation, who were admitted to the rehabilitation department, were enrolled and randomly divided into magnetic stimulation (MS) group and sham stimulation (Sham) group. Several parameters related with constipation such as total and segmental colon transit time (CTT), defecation frequency, and Bristol Stool Scale (BSS) before and after 2 weeks of A-FMS (5 times per week, total 10 times of A-FMS) were evaluated. The Korean version of the Modified Barthel Index (K-MBI) was also evaluated.


A significant decrease in segmental CTT in the left colon (-8.2±3.9 vs. 4.1±2.5 hours; p < 0.05 by paired sample t-test) and a significant increase in the frequency of defecation (1.5±0.2 vs 0.7±0.3; p < 0.05 by paired sample t-test) were observed in the MS group compared with the Sham group. Stool hardness became significantly softer in the MS group compared with the Sham group (2.3–3.5 in the MS and 2.6–3.1 in the Sham; p < 0.05 by chi-square test) as evaluated by BSS. No difference in the K-MBI was observed between the two groups.


The present study suggests that A-FMS can be an additional therapeutic tool for managing constipation in brain-injured patients with abnormal bowel movement, defecation frequency, and stool hardness.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.