Is there Autonomic Dysfunction in Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Turkish Population?

Firdevs Topal, Elif Yuksel Yuksel, Nihan Kahya, Cem Cekiç, Neşe Ekinci, Zehra Akpinar, Belkis Unsal


AIM: Autonomic dysfunction is accused as one of the factors in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. We have aimed to find out if there is a concordance between autonomic dysfunction and inflammatory bowel disease. METHODS: In this study, we have evaluated 10 colon and/or small bowel resection materials from ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) patients. Inflammatory cells (lenfo-plasmocytes) cumulated around and in the enteric ganglia were shown. After that, we have taken one step forward and examined autonomic dysfunction by heart rate variability in 26 ulcerative colitis patients in remission and 24 healthy volunteers in order to evaluate if there is a simultaneous autonomic dysfunction. RESULTS: There was infiltration of lymphocytes and mast cells in the myenteric plexus in 8 (5 CD, 3 UC) of the 10 resection specimens but no destruction in ganglia. There were not any statistically significant differences between HRV variables of the IBD group and the control group in our analysis. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, eventhough there is inflammation in enteric nervous system in inflammatory bowel disease, it does not seem to correlate with a defect in the central autonomic nervous system.


Inflammatory bowel disease; Inflammation; Enteric nervous system; Autonomic nervous system; Heart rate variability

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