peristalsis

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Related to peristaltically: peristaltic reflex

peristalsis

 [per″ĭ-stal´sis]
the wormlike movement by which the alimentary canal or other tubular organs with both longitudinal and circular muscle fibers propel their contents, consisting of a wave of contraction passing along the tube. adj., adj peristal´tic.

When food is swallowed, it passes into the esophagus. Muscular contractions in the wall of the esophagus work the food downward, pushing it into the stomach. Here peristaltic contractions not only move the food in small amounts into the intestine but also aid in the disintegration of the food and help mix it with gastric juice. Peristalsis forces the food into and through the intestine for further digestion until the food waste finally reaches the rectum, from which it is periodically discharged from the body. The waves of peristalsis are irregular; they are stronger at some times than at others. They are also weaker in some people, notably the elderly.

Although the normal peristaltic wave is downward, it is sometimes reversed. Reverse peristaltic action may be triggered by mild digestive upsets or more serious disorders, such as an obstruction in the stomach or intestines.

per·i·stal·sis

(per'i-stal'sis),
The movement of the intestine or other tubular structure, characterized by waves of alternate circular contraction and relaxation of the tube by which the contents are propelled onward.
Synonym(s): vermicular movement
[peri- + G. stalsis, constriction]

peristalsis

/peri·stal·sis/ (-stahl´sis) the wormlike movement by which the alimentary canal or other tubular organs having both longitudinal and circular muscle fibers propel their contents, consisting of a wave of contraction passing along the tube for variable distances.peristal´tic

peristalsis

(pĕr′ĭ-stôl′sĭs, -stăl′-)
n. pl. peristal·ses (-sēz)
The wavelike muscular contractions of the digestive tract or other tubular structures by which contents are forced onward toward the opening.

per′i·stal′tic (-stôl′tĭk, -stăl′-) adj.
per′i·stal′ti·cal·ly adv.

peristalsis

[-stal′sis, -stôl′sis]
Etymology: Gk, peri + stalsis, contraction
the coordinated, rhythmic serial contraction of smooth muscle that forces food through the digestive tract, bile through the bile duct, and urine through the ureters.
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Peristalsis

per·i·stal·sis

(per'i-stal'sis)
The movement of the intestine or other tubular structure, characterized by waves of alternate circular contraction and relaxation of the tube by which the contents are propelled onward.
Synonym(s): vermicular movement.
[peri- + G. stalsis, constriction]

peristalsis

A coordinated succession of contractions and relaxations of the muscular wall of a tubular structure, such as the OESOPHAGUS, small intestine or the URETER, producing a wave-like pattern whose effect is to move the contents along.

peristalsis

the alternate contraction and relaxation of circular and longitudinal muscle which produces waves that pass along the intestine (and other tubular systems) of animals, moving the tube contents in one direction.

Peristalsis

A sequence of muscle contractions that progressively squeeze one small section of the digestive tract and then the next to push food along the tract, something like pushing toothpaste out of its tube.

peristalsis

waves of alternate contraction and relaxation in circumferential muscle tissue of a tubular structure, driving contents forward, e.g. movement of blood through the vascular system (see law, Starling's)

peristalsis

the wormlike movement by which the alimentary canal or other tubular organs with both longitudinal and circular muscle fibers propel their contents, consisting of a wave of contraction passing along the tube. Increased peristalsis means faster movement of ingesta through the gut and less absorption of fluid, both tending to diarrhea. Reduced peristalsis means a longer alimentary sojourn, greater inspissation of ingesta and a tendency to constipation. See also peristaltic, paralytic ileus.
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Peristalsis. By permission from Aspinall V, O'Reilly M, Introduction to Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, Butterworth Heinemann, 2004

reverse peristalsis
peristalsis directed orally is a result of intestinal obstruction and acute, significant distention of the intestinal lumen; it is a major contributing mechanism in vomiting.