Background /aims: Children with slow-transit constipation (STC) are resistant to medical treatment. We used a new treatment - transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) to treat STC children since 2005, with improved symptoms in most children. Home-based TES was available in 2008. We aimed to assess gastrointestinal transit (GIT) in STC children after medical treatment and home-based TES, with nuclear transit scintigraphy (NTS) as an objective assessment. We hypothesized that TES may alter gastrointestinal transit but not medical treatment in STC children.
Methods All STC children were diagnosed by NTS. STC children treated medically (“Control”, n=29 - from NTS database) were compared with 45 STC children treated with home-based TES (1-hour dailyx6 months from 2009–2011). Gastrointestinal transit measured gastric emptying (t½) and colonic transit by geometric centre (GC) at 6, 24, 30 & 48 hours. The effects of treatments were measured by a repeat NTS. Pre- and post-treatment NTS data were analysed with paired t-test; p<0.05 considered significant. Symptoms assessments were based on bowel diary recorded. Ethics approval obtained (HREC30059A&30116A).
Results Control group has no improvement in symptoms with most STC children treated with home-based TES has improved symptoms. GC and GIT significantly improved in STC children treated with home-based TES (Table 1).
Conclusions We found symptoms and gastrointestinal transit improved in STC children with home-based TES but not with medical treatment. NTS provides objective assessment, which is important to confirm clinical status after treatments and helps to decide on further interventions.