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Does ispaghula husk stimulate the entire colon in diverticular disease?
  1. H A Thorburn,
  2. K B Carter,
  3. J A Goldberg,
  4. I G Finlay
  1. University Department of Surgery, Glasgow Royal Infirmary.


    The effect of ispaghula husk on colonic motility of the right and left side was examined in 10 patients with left sided diverticular disease using an untethered pressure sensitive radiotelemetry capsule. After treatment, ispaghula husk reduced mouth to rectum transit by a median of 8.8 hours and the time to midtransverse colon by five hours. In the right colon there was an increase in the median percentage activity of 7% and the median number of pressure waves greater than 5 mm Hg/hour rose by 35.3. Motility changes in the left colon were less pronounced. Five of the seven patients with abdominal pain and six of the nine patients with altered bowel habit responded to treatment. These results suggest that it is ispaghula husk's action on the right unaffected colon which alleviates the symptoms of left sided diverticular disease.

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