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The value of fluoroscopic defecography in the diagnostic and therapeutic management of defecation disorders in children.

Pediatric Radiology 2015 Februrary
BACKGROUND: Defecography is a study to assess anorectal function during evacuation.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the value of fluoroscopic defecography in directing diagnostic and therapeutic management in children with defecation disorders.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We reviewed all fluoroscopic defecography studies performed (2003-2009) in children with defecation problems and normal anorectal motility studies. Results were classified into three groups: (1) normal pelvic floor function; (2) pelvic floor dyssynergia, including incomplete relaxation of pelvic musculature, inconsistent change in anorectal angle and incomplete voluntary evacuation; (3) structural abnormality, including excessive pelvic floor descent with an intra-rectal intussusception, rectocele or rectal prolapse.

RESULTS: We included 18 patients (13 boys, median age 9.1 years). Indication for fluoroscopic defecography was chronic constipation in 56%, fecal incontinence in 22% and rectal prolapse in 22%. Defecography showed pelvic floor dyssynergia in 9 children (50%), a structural abnormality in 4 (22%) and normal pelvic floor function in 5 (28%). In 12 children (67%) the outcome of fluoroscopic defecography directly influenced therapeutic management. After defecography 4 children (22%) were referred for anorectal biofeedback treatment, 4 children (22%) for surgery, 2 children (11%) for additional MR defecography, and 1 child to the psychology department, and medication was changed in 1 child. In 6 children (33%) the result did not change the management. In 9 children (75%) the change of management was successful.

CONCLUSIONS: Fluoroscopic defecography can be a useful tool in understanding the pathophysiology and it may provide information that impacts management of children with refractory defecation disorders.

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