Longitudinal and circumferential spike patches in the canine small intestine in vivo

Wim J.E.P. Lammers, Luc Ver Donck, Jan A.J. Schuurkes, Betty Stephen

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38 Citations (Scopus)


In an open-abdominal anesthetized and fasted canine model of the intact small intestine, the presence, location, shape, and frequency of spike patches were investigated. Recordings were performed with a 240-electrode array (24 x 10, 2-mm interelectrode distance) from several sites sequentially, spanning the whole length of the small intestine. All 240 electrograms were recorded simultaneously during periods of 5 min and were analyzed to reconstruct the origin and propagation of individual spikes. At every level in the small intestine, spikes propagated in all directions before stopping abruptly, thereby activating a circumscribed area termed a "patch." Two types of spikes were found: longitudinal spikes, which propagated predominantly in the longitudinal direction and occurred most often in the duodenum, and a second type, circumferential spikes, which propagated predominantly in the circular direction and occurred much more frequently in the jejunum and ileum. Circumferential spikes conducted faster than longitudinal spikes (17 ± 6 and 7 ± 2 cm/s, respectively; P < 0.001). Circumferential spikes originated in >90% of all cases from the antimesenteric border, whereas longitudinal spikes were initiated all around the circumference of the intestinal tube. Finally, the spatial sequence of spike patches after the slow wave was very irregular in the upper part of the intestine but much more regular in the lower part. In conclusion, spikes and spike patches occur throughout the small intestine, whereas their type, sites of origin, extent of propagation, and frequencies of occurrence differ along the length of the small intestine, suggesting differences in local patterns of motility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G1014-G1027
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 48-5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Duodenum
  • Ileum
  • Jejunum
  • Slow waves
  • Spike patches

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)


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