Background: Acute intestinal infection leads to persistent intestinal smooth muscle hypercontractility and pain hypersensitivity after resolution of the infection in animal models. We investigated whether postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) is associated with abnormalities in phasic contractions of the colon, smooth muscle tone, and pain sensitivity compared to non-PI-IBS (NI-IBS) or healthy controls (HC). Methods: Two hundred and eighteen Rome III-positive IBS patients and 43 HC participated. IBS patients were designated PI-IBS, if their IBS symptoms began following an episode of gastroenteritis characterized by two or more of: fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Pain threshold to phasic distentions of the descending colon was assessed using a barostat. Colonic motility was assessed with the barostat bag minimally inflated to the individual operating pressure (IOP), at 20 mmHg above the IOP, and following a test meal. IBS symptom severity and psychological symptoms were assessed by the IBS Severity Scale (IBS-SS) and the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18). Key Results: Twenty two (10.1%) met criteria for PI-IBS. Both IBS and HC groups showed a significant increase in motility index during intraluminal distention and following meals. The magnitude of the response to distention above (orad to) the balloon was significantly greater in PI-IBS compared with NI-IBS (p < 0.05) or HC (p < 0.01). Differences between PI-IBS and NI-IBS were not significant for IBS symptom severity, pain threshold, barostat bag volumes, or any psychological score on the BSI-18. Conclusions & Inferences: Patients with PI-IBS have greater colonic hypercontractility than NI-IBS. We speculate that sustained mild mucosal inflammation may cause this colonic irritability.
- Colonic motility
- Gut inflammation
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Visceral sensitivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems