Gastrointestinal motility

One of the pivotal tasks of gastrointestinal tract is its ability to organise coordinated transport of luminal content which is perfectly adjusted to the digestive needs of the body. To achieve this the gastrointestinal tract exhibits a wide repertoire of motor patterns that are based on spatio-temporal coordination of muscle activity. The gastrointestinal tract is able to monitor caloric density, osmolarity and pH of the luminal content and reacts with the initiation of the appropriate motility pattern.

The fascinating variety of motility patterns is best appreciated by imaging gut motility and transit of luminal content by videofluoroscopy.

Motility disorders in the gut are major causes and concomitant phenomena of various functional, structural and inflammatory bowel diseases; one of the most prominent example is irritable bowel disease (IBS).