Implications of rectal preconditioning for interpretation of sensory-motor data

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  • Jingbo Zhao
  • ,
  • Tine Gregersen
  • Janne Fassov
  • Klaus Krogh
  • Hans Gregersen, GIOME, Department of Surgery, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Electronic address:

Testing of biomechanical properties of intestine requires the tissue to be preconditioned by applying cyclic loading to obtain repeatable mechanical data. However, little is known about the mechanosensory properties during intestinal preconditioning. We aimed to study the relationship between mechanical preconditioning of the human rectum and sensory response. Three fast rectal bag distensions to the pain threshold were done in seven healthy females. A visual analog scale (VAS) was used for sensory assessment. At each distension, we determined (1) time, bag cross-sectional area (CSA), radius (r), r/r0, pressure and tension to reach VAS = 1, 3 and 5 (pain threshold); (2) the same parameters at induced contraction start; (3) CSA where the pressure started to increase (CSAP>baseline) and (4) the number of contractions. The time, CSA, r/r0 and tension to reach VAS = 1 and VAS = 3 increased from distension 1 to 3 (4.9 < F < 11.5, 0.05 > P > 0.007), primarily due to difference between the first and second distension. For VAS = 5, r/r0 was smaller in distension 3 than distension 1 (P < 0.05), whereas time, CSA and tension did not differ between distensions (P > 0.5). Compared with distension 1, CSA, r/r0 and tension at contraction start, and CSAP>baseline were bigger in distensions 2 and 3 (5.5 < F < 10.9, 0.05 > P > 0.009). The pressure to reach the VAS levels, the contraction numbers and pressure at contraction start did not differ among distensions (P > 0.6). During mechanical preconditioning, CSA, tension and deformation increased at sub-pain levels, reflecting sensory adaptation. The data point to acute remodeling of a strain-dependent mechanism in the rectal wall.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109541
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2020

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