JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Functional defecation disorders in children with lower urinary tract symptoms.

PURPOSE: We assessed the prevalence of functional defecation disorders, such as functional constipation and functional nonretentive fecal incontinence, in children referred to a tertiary pediatric urology outpatient clinic for lower urinary tract symptoms.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed the charts of 4 to 17-year-old patients evaluated due to lower urinary tract symptoms. All patients received a standardized bowel questionnaire and physical examination. We assessed the prevalence of pediatric functional defecation disorders according to Rome III criteria. Transabdominal ultrasound was performed to measure rectal diameter with a diameter of greater than 3 cm considered to indicate a rectal fecal mass.

RESULTS: We analyzed the records of 113 patients, including 50 boys, with a median age of 8 years (IQR 6-10) who had lower urinary tract symptoms. Of the patients 46 had dysfunctional voiding and 38 had urge incontinence/overactive bladder. Rome III criteria for functional constipation and functional nonretentive fecal incontinence were fulfilled by 47% and 11% of patients with lower urinary tract symptoms, respectively. Children with dysfunctional voiding were more likely to fulfill the criteria for functional constipation than those with urge incontinence and other urological disorders (63% vs 42% and 28%, respectively, p = 0.009). Children with urge incontinence more likely fulfilled the criteria for functional nonretentive fecal incontinence than those with dysfunctional voiding and other urological disorders (21% vs 2.2% and 10%, respectively, p = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: More than 50% of children with lower urinary tract symptoms evaluated at a tertiary referral center fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for functional defecation disorders. We recommend evaluating bowel habits as part of the initial assessment of a child who presents with urological symptoms. Future studies of the effect on urological symptoms of treating functional defecation disorders are justified.

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