Purpose: Postoperative ileus (POI) is an impairment of coordinated gastrointestinal (GI) motility that develops as a consequence of abdominal surgery and is a major factor contributing to patient morbidity and prolonged hospitalization. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different 5-hydroxytryptamine 4 (5-HT4) receptor agonists, which stimulate excitatory pathways, on a POI model. Materials and Methods: The experimental model of POI in guinea pigs was created by laparotomy, gentle manipulation of the cecum for 60 seconds, and closure by suture, all under anesthesia. Different degrees of restoration of GI transit were measured by the migration of charcoal. Colonic transit was indirectly assessed via measurement of fecal pellet output every hour for 5 hours after administration of various doses of mosapride, tegaserod, prucalopride, and 5-HT. Results: Charcoal transit assay showed that various 5-HT4 receptor agonists can accelerate delayed upper GI transit in a dose-dependent manner. However, fecal pellet output assay suggested that only prucalopride had a significant effect in accelerating colonic motility in POI. Conclusion: Although mosapride, tegaserod, and prucalopride produce beneficial effects to hasten upper GI transit in the POI model, prucalopride administered orally restores lower GI transit as well as upper GI transit after operation in a conscious guinea pig. This drug may serve as a useful candidate for examination in a clinical trial for POI.
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