The myoelectrical activity of the human rectosigmoid colon was studied simultaneously in six subjects at two sites using two pairs of fine wire bipolar electrodes. The electrodes were spaced 2-5 cm apart in the rectosigmoid after insertion into the smooth muscle layers under direct vision at sigmoidoscopy. The electrodes were implanted at positions between 8 and 25 cm from the anal verge in different subjects. The frequency of myoelectrical burst activity together with the burst duration recorded by each electrode pair was examined. The relation of burst frequency and burst duration in the higher and lower placed electrodes was also assessed. In none of the subjects was three evidence of synchrony between the electrode pairs. In addition, there was no relation between the relative position of the electrodes and the intrinsic frequency of duration of myoelectrical bursts. It is concluded that regions of smooth muscle in the unstimulated human colon in vivo act independently and that there is no effective common neuromuscular drive under these conditions.
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