Colonic Transit Time: Why Take This Exam?


Colonic transit time is a very important test to diagnose and help figure out the most appropriate treatment for patients with marked chronic constipation who do not respond to changes in diet, such as fiber-based treatments. Among the most common symptoms of bowel constipation are: hardened or fragmented stools, evacuating less than three times a week and great effort to be able to empty the intestine.

With colonic transit time, it is possible to evaluate functional disorders of the colon, in a non-invasive, practical and effective way – being an examination well tolerated by the patient. It is necessary to take a capsule with 24 radiopaque markers, which can be seen via radiographs. With this, it is possible to analyze the course time of the markers, which corresponds to the transit time of the fecal contents in the large intestine.
This is called “colonic transit time”. It is a simple examination and allows to diagnose and indicate the correct treatment for each patient, making the differentiation between colonic inertia constipation and obstructed evacuation syndrome possible.

How Colonic Transit Time Works

Because it is a simple and pain-free procedure, the patient is not sedated and does not need to fast. It is contraindicated only in cases of pregnancy. With it, the specialist will be able to indicate the pattern of your intestinal constipation.

However, for the test to be successful, it is necessary to discontinue the use of laxatives or other drugs that might interfere with the functioning of the intestine, as well as following a standardized diet that begins two days before the capsule is ingested and continues until the end of the procedure.

The patient is advised to come the clinic, as in any normal appointment. Then, you receive the original SitzMarks capsule and the medical requests for two x-rays (after 24 and after 120 hours), which are performed in radiology clinics. You also receive written guidelines on the diet and use of medicines that need to be suspended.
Two radiographs are performed: one 24 hours after the ingestion of the capsule and another one on the fifth day. The compound of the capsule is inert to the body and is eliminated naturally, usually not even being perceived by the patient.

When at least 80% of the markers are expelled by the fifth day, colonic transit time is considered normal. The diagnosis of obstructed evacuation syndrome occurs when there is a concentration of markers in the pelvis projection. A distribution of the markers sparingly across the colon segments is compatible with colonic inertia.
Because it is a long exam and the diagnosis is made by means of image interpretation, it is essential to have specialists in the subject, as well as the use of appropriate radiopaque markers, such as the SitzMarks capsule.

At Colono Clinic, in addition to state-of-the-art equipment and a structure prepared to receive you safely, we have a team specialized in performing the procedure who is always aiming for your well-being.

We are pioneers in several coloproctology techniques, enabling more accurate diagnoses and more effective treatments, with less pain and a faster recovery. Schedule your appointment!

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