To test the hypothesis that age alters fasting and postprandial antral and intestinal motility in humans, we studied 23 patients, aged 18–39 years (median 28), and 13 patients, aged 40–69 years (median 49). All were having gastrointestinal symptoms, but in none was there objective clinical, radiologic, or endoscopic features of bowel disease, and manometry of the stomach and proximal small bowel was normal. We quantitated certain parameters of fasting intestinal motility and postprandial antral and jejunal motility. There were no significant differences in the interval between interdigestive motor complexes (IMC), duration, propagation velocity, or maximum number of contractions during phase III of the IMC, or postprandial antral and jejunal motility indices. The postprandial indices show a very similar distribution in each decade. Thus, in selected patients with unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms but no objective features of gut disease, quantifiable gastric and small bowel motility parameters do not differ in the age groups 18–39 and 40–69 years.
- Antral motility
- Interdigestive motor complex
- Small bowel motility
- Upper gastrointestinal manometry
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