When is an evaluation of colonic transit time indicated in the workup of constipation and how is the study performed?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Colonic transit time should be determined in patients suspected of having a colonic motility disorder. Accomplish this by observing the passage of orally administered radiopaque markers via daily abdominal roentgenograms. Record the time taken for the passage of the markers and the site where they appear to be retained. A patient with outlet obstruction tends to retain the markers in the left colon and sigmoid, whereas a patient with colonic dysmotility may retain the markers throughout the colon.

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