Gastrointestinal motility disorders in patients with multiple sclerosis: A single-center study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Most prevalent gastrointestinal symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS) relate to lower bowel dysfunction, often in association with bladder manifestations. Objective: To assess clinical and objective gastrointestinal motor dysfunctions in patients with MS. Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective study of 166 patients evaluated between 1996 and 2020. We reviewed characterization of the MS, gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms, measurements of gastrointestinal and colonic transit, and anorectal manometry. Key Results: At the time of the gastrointestinal evaluations of the 166 patients with MS (138 women; 83%), 111 were in the relapsing-remitting phase and 52 were in the progressive phase. In 3 patients, disease phase was not assigned due to insufficient data. Constipation was identified in 82% (136/166) of patients. Most [103/116 (88%)] patients with bladder symptoms also had constipation or fecal incontinence. Delayed gastric emptying at 4 h and colonic transit at 24 h was identified in 16% and 7% of the cohort, respectively; 22% had accelerated gastric emptying. On anorectal manometry, resting anal sphincter pressure >90 mm Hg and rectoanal pressure differential below −50mm Hg suggested evacuation disorder in patients with constipation. Conclusions and Inferences: In addition to slow colonic transit and anorectal dysfunction leading to constipation in MS, 22% of patients had accelerated gastric emptying.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14326
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • bladder
  • constipation
  • evacuation
  • gastroparesis
  • neurological

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Gastrointestinal motility disorders in patients with multiple sclerosis: A single-center study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this