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      Impact of Sleep Dysfunction on Anorectal Motility in Healthy Humans

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          Sleep dysfunction is associated with altered gastrointestinal function and subsequently exacerbations of gastrointestinal problems. We aimed to investigate whether sleep dysfunction would influence anorectal motility as determined by anorectal manometry. The effect of anxiety on anorectal motility was also determined.


          A total of 24 healthy volunteers underwent anorectal manometry. The anorectal parameters included resting and squeeze sphincter pressure, sensory thresholds in response to balloon distension, sphincter length, rectal compliance, and rectoanal inhibitory reflex. Sleep dysfunction was subjectively assessed by using Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI). Anxiety was assessed by the application of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaire.


          There were sixteen subjects without sleep dysfunction (7 women; mean age, 22 years) and eight subjects with sleep dysfunction (2 women; mean age, 22 years). There was no group difference in the volume threshold for rectoanal inhibitory reflux, rectal compliance or sphincter length ( P = NS). Anal sphincter pressure did not differ between the groups ( P = NS). The rectal sensitivity for different levels of stimulation did not differ between the groups ( P = NS). Sleep quality as determined by PSQI correlated with rectal compliance (r = 0.66, P = 0.007). Although there was no differences in any manometric parameters between subjects with and without anxiety, the anxiety score correlated with rectal compliance (r = 0.57, P = 0.003).


          Despite a positive association between rectal compliance and the level of subjective sleep or anxiety, sleep dysfunction did not apparently affect most of anorectal function in healthy subjects, nor did anxiety.

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          Most cited references 29

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          The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index: a new instrument for psychiatric practice and research.

          Despite the prevalence of sleep complaints among psychiatric patients, few questionnaires have been specifically designed to measure sleep quality in clinical populations. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) is a self-rated questionnaire which assesses sleep quality and disturbances over a 1-month time interval. Nineteen individual items generate seven "component" scores: subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, use of sleeping medication, and daytime dysfunction. The sum of scores for these seven components yields one global score. Clinical and clinimetric properties of the PSQI were assessed over an 18-month period with "good" sleepers (healthy subjects, n = 52) and "poor" sleepers (depressed patients, n = 54; sleep-disorder patients, n = 62). Acceptable measures of internal homogeneity, consistency (test-retest reliability), and validity were obtained. A global PSQI score greater than 5 yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of 89.6% and specificity of 86.5% (kappa = 0.75, p less than 0.001) in distinguishing good and poor sleepers. The clinimetric and clinical properties of the PSQI suggest its utility both in psychiatric clinical practice and research activities.
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            Functional bowel disorders.

            Employing a consensus approach, our working team critically considered the available evidence and multinational expert criticism, revised the Rome II diagnostic criteria for the functional bowel disorders, and updated diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Diagnosis of a functional bowel disorder (FBD) requires characteristic symptoms during the last 3 months and onset > or =6 months ago. Alarm symptoms suggest the possibility of structural disease, but do not necessarily negate a diagnosis of an FBD. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), functional bloating, functional constipation, and functional diarrhea are best identified by symptom-based approaches. Subtyping of IBS is controversial, and we suggest it be based on stool form, which can be aided by use of the Bristol Stool Form Scale. Diagnostic testing should be guided by the patient's age, primary symptom characteristics, and other clinical and laboratory features. Treatment of FBDs is based on an individualized evaluation, explanation, and reassurance. Alterations in diet, drug treatment aimed at predominant symptoms, and psychotherapy may be beneficial.
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              Sensory fibres expressing capsaicin receptor TRPV1 in patients with rectal hypersensitivity and faecal urgency.

              Faecal urgency and incontinence with rectal hypersensitivity is a distressing, unexplained disorder that is inadequately treated. We aimed to determine whether expression of the heat and capsaicin receptor vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1 or VR1) was changed in rectal sensory fibres, and to correlate nerve fibre density with sensory abnormalities. We compared full-thickness rectal biopsy samples from nine patients with physiologically characterised rectal hypersensitivity with tissue samples from 12 controls. Sensory thresholds to rectal balloon distension and heating the rectal mucosa were measured before biopsy. We assessed specimens with immunohistochemistry and image analysis using specific antibodies to TRPV1; nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor tyrosine kinase A; glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF); neuropeptides calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and substance P; the related vanilloid receptor-like protein (VRL) 2; glial markers S-100 and glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP); and the nerve structural marker peripherin. In rectal hypersensitivity, nerve fibres immunoreactive to TRPV1 were increased in muscle, submucosal, and mucosal layers: in the mucosal layer, the median% area positive was 0.44 (range 0.30-0.59) in patients who were hypersensitive and 0.11 (0.00-0.21) in controls (p=0.0005). The numbers of peripherin-positive fibres also increased in the mucosal layer (hypersensitive 3.00 [1.80-6.50], controls 1.20 [0.39-2.10]: (p=0.0002). The increase in TRVP1 correlated significantly with the decrease in rectal heat (p=0.03) and the distension (p=0.02) sensory thresholds. The thresholds for heat and distension were also significantly correlated (p=0.0028). Expression of nerve fibres positive for GDNF (p=0.001) and tyrosine kinase A (p=0.002) was also increased, as were cell bodies of the submucosal ganglia immunoreactive to CGRP (p=0.0009). Faecal urgency and rectal hypersensitivity could result from increased numbers of polymodal sensory nerve fibres expressing TRPV1. The triggering factor or factors remain uncertain, but drugs that target nerve terminals that express this receptor, such as topical resiniferatoxin, deserve consideration.

                Author and article information

                J Neurogastroenterol Motil
                Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
                Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
                April 2011
                27 April 2011
                : 17
                : 2
                : 180-184
                [1 ]Department of Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital and Tzu Chi University, Hualien, Taiwan.
                [2 ]Lynn Institute for Healthcare Research, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Chien-Lin Chen, MD. Department of Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi Hospital, 707, Sec. 3, Chung-Yang Rd., Hualien 970, Taiwan. Tel: +886-3-8561825, Fax: +886-3-8577161, harry.clchen@
                © 2011 The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article


                anxiety, sleep, manometry


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