Table 1

Thickness of the three smooth muscle layers, the muscularis mucosae, and the circular and longitudinal muscle of the muscularis externa in controls and patients with idiopathic megarectum and idiopathic megacolon (in μm)

Rectum Sigmoid colon Proximal colon
Controls
 Number11153
 Muscularis mucosae33  (21–61)25  (17–48)21  (15–30)
 Circular muscle633 (333–1670)877 (593–1667)360 (167–700)
 Longitudinal muscle303 (183–643)460 (160–1092)250 (45–808)
Idiopathic megarectum
 Number212110
 Muscularis mucosae78 (23–144) 44 (21–165) 26 (13–48)
 Circular muscle1000 (375–3410) 801 (287–3500)668 (312–1592)1-150
 Longitudinal muscle1083 (233–3200) 379 (102–1643)233 (150–1600)
Idiopathic megacolon
 Number156
 Muscularis mucosae7341 (15–57)29 (23–53)
 Circular muscle840808 (43–1178)479 (393–1033)
 Longitudinal muscle570357 (90–727)403 (145–767)
  • Values given are the median (range) thickness. In all patients with idiopathic megarectum the gut dilatation extended for a variable extent proximally. The values given in this group are from dilated bowel only. In the proximal colon more than one colonic region was available in some patients (that is, ascending, transverse or descending colon). The three control patients provided five specimens; the 16 patients provided 30 specimens.

  • 1-150 p<0.05; p<0.005.