Radiography and Radiopaque Markers in Colonic Transit-Time Studies

  • Angelita Habr-Gama
  • José Marcio Neves Jorge


Although considered an indirect test to evaluate colonic motility, colonic transit-time assessment provides a definition for constipation by converting an otherwise hopelessly subjective symptom to an objective part of the medical record. Its most important role lies in excluding factitious constipation; however, its association with video defecography is crucial. Additionally, colonic transit times can help uncover causative diagnoses by stratifying motility disorders into two main patterns: colonic inertia and outlet obstruction. Several factors, including diet, physical activity, and psychological and hormonal factors may affect digestive transit-time results; therefore, some variation is expected. The most commonly used technique to measure colonic transit time involves two abdominal radiographs taken on days 3 and 5 after a single-day ingestion of 24 solid radiopaque markers.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Transit Time Chronic Constipation Colonic Transit Abdominal Radiograph 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelita Habr-Gama
    • 1
  • José Marcio Neves Jorge
    • 1
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of Sao PauloSao Paulo, SPBrazil

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