Fractionated doses of ionizing radiation alter postprandial small intestinal motor activity

Mary F. Otterson, Sushil K. Sarna, Martha B. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We investigated the effects of total abdominal fractionated irradiation on postprandial small intestinal motor activity in five dogs. Five strain-gauge transducers were attached to the seromuscular layer of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum of each dog to record circular muscle contractions. Radiation (250 cGy) was administered three times a week on alternate days for three successive weeks (total dose, 2250 cGy). Postprandial 4-hr recordings were made once each week during radiation and at one and three weeks following completion of radiation. Duodenal mean amplitude and area under contractions did not change during or following the radiation schedule, but the mean frequency and duration of duodenal contractions decreased during the radiation schedule. Both parameters returned to baseline values postirradiation. Jejunal mean duration, amplitude, area, and frequency of contractions decreased during radiation; mean amplitude and area returned to baseline values postirradiation but not the duration and frequency of contractions. All parameters of ileal contractions decreased during radiation, and all but area and amplitudes remained depressed postirradiation. Significantly decreased strength and frequency of contractions, particularly in the jejunum and ileum occur during and following irradiation. These changes may potentially alter transit time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-715
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1992


  • diarrhea
  • gastrointestinal motility
  • irradiation effects
  • radiation sickness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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