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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. Increasedperistalsis 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 toconstipation. See also peristalticparalytic ileus.
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