The effect of a subthreshold dose of carbachol on alimentary transit of a radioisotopically labelled fluid test meal was measured before and after vagotomy and pyloromyotomy in rats. Vagotomy itself had a transient slowing effect on the rates of gastric emptying and transit in the upper small intestine. Subthreshold carbachol had no effect before vagotomy but accelerated gastric emptying and small intestinal transit after vagotomy. These findings might explain the increased bowel frequency which is common after vagotomy.
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