The motor function of the gastrointestinal tract relies on the enteric nervous system, which includes neurons spanning from the esophagus to the internal anal sphincter. Disorders of gastrointestinal motility arise as a result of disease within the affected portion of the enteric nervous system and may be caused by a wide array of underlying diseases. The etiology of motility disorders may be primary or due to secondary causes related to infection or inflammation, congenital abnormalities, metabolic disturbances, systemic illness, or medication-related side effects. The symptoms of gastrointestinal dysmotility tend to be nonspecific and may cause diagnostic dif-ficulty. Therefore, evaluation of motility disorders requires a combination of clinical, radiologic, and endoscopic or manometric test-ing. Radiologic studies including fluoroscopy, CT, MRI, and nuclear scintigraphy allow exclusion of alternative pathologic conditions and serve as adjuncts to endoscopy and manometry to determine the appropriate diagnosis. Additionally, radiologist understanding of clinical evaluation of motility disorders is necessary for guiding re-ferring clinicians and appropriately imaging patients. New develop-ments and advances in imaging techniques have allowed improved assessment and diagnosis of motility disorders, which will continue to improve patient treatment options.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging