Gut 39:109-113 doi:10.1136/gut.39.1.109
  • Research Article

How well does stool form reflect colonic transit?

  1. L P Degen,
  2. S F Phillips
  1. Division of Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


      BACKGROUND: Watery stools are equated with rapid and hard stools with slow intestinal transit; however, the relation between stool form and transit through specific regions of the gut is not clear cut. In addition, more information is needed on interindividual variability of these measurements. AIM: To examine the relations between stool form and gastric emptying, small bowel and colonic transit. METHODS: Regional gut transit was assessed scintigraphically and segmental colonic transit was also quantified by radio-opaque markers. On two occasions, 32 healthy volunteers (12 men, 20 women) were studied, women during the follicular and luteal phases of menstruation, men twice within a similar four week period. Diets were standardised and stool form was recorded on a seven point scale. RESULTS: Women had significant harder stools; hard stools were correlated significantly with slow transit and loose stools with fast transit through the colon. CONCLUSIONS: Stool form could not be related to gastric emptying or small bowel transit.