Propagation velocities and frequencies of contractions along canine small intestine

M. L. Siegle, S. Buhner, M. Schemann, H. R. Schmid, H. J. Ehrlein

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24 Scopus citations


This study was performed to clarify in detail the behavior of the propagation velocities and frequencies of contractions along the canine small intestine. In conscious dogs, duodenal, jejunal, and ileal contractions were recorded by multiple, closely spaced strain gauges and analyzed by a computerized method. During both the interdigestive and postprandial states, the propagation velocity increased from the duodenal bulb to the distal duodenum and declined aborally within the jejunum, reaching rather constant values in the ileum. The decrease was steepest in the proximal part of the jejunum. In contrast to the propagation velocities, the contraction frequencies were almost constant in the upper small intestine. In the ileum, the contraction frequencies were markedly lower than in the upper small intestine, indicating that the aboral decrease in frequency occurred in the distal parts of the jejunum. We conclude that both the propagation velocities and the frequencies of contractions decline aborally in a nonlinear fashion. However, the nonlinear patterns of the frequency and the propagation velocity gradients are different.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G738-G744
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 21-5
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • basal intercontractile interval
  • electrical coupling
  • frequency gradient
  • interdigestive state
  • intestinal motility
  • postprandial state


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