Electrical activity in the rectum of anaesthetized dogs

W. J.E.P. Lammers, F. A. Abazer, L. Ver Donck, D. Smets, J. A.J. Schuurkes, B. Coulie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


There is limited data available on the electrical activity of the rectum. An in vivo canine model was developed to record 240 extracellular electrograms simultaneously from the serosal surface of the rectum thereby enabling an off-line reconstruction of the behaviour of the electrical signals. Serosal rectal electrical activity is characterized by brief bursts of action potentials (=spikes) with a frequency of 22 cycles min-1. High-resolution mapping of these signals revealed predominant propagation of these spikes in the longitudinal direction, originating from any site and conducted for a limited time and length before stopping spontaneously, thereby describing a patch of activity. The dimension of the patches in the longitudinal direction was significantly longer than the transversal width (13.6 vs 2.4 mm; P < 0.001). Spike propagation could occur in the aboral (46% of cases), in the oral (34%) or in both directions (20%). A bolus of betanechol (i.v., 0.5 mg kg-1) increased the frequency of the spikes without affecting size, shape or orientation of the patches. As in other parts of the gastrointestinal system, individual spike propagation in the rectum is limited to small areas or patches. The contractile activity of the organ could possibly reflect this underlying pattern of electrical behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-577
Number of pages9
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Electrical mapping
  • Rectum
  • Spike patches
  • Spikes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrical activity in the rectum of anaesthetized dogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this