Anorectal Disorders: An Update

Satish S C Rao, Eula P Tetangco
Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 2020, 54 (7): 606-613
Anorectal disorders encompass structural, neuromuscular, and functional disorders. They are common, often distressing, and in some cases debilitating, and significantly add to the health care burden. They present with multiple, overlapping symptoms that can often obscure the underlying pathology and can pose significant diagnostic and management dilemmas. A meticulous history and comprehensive digital rectal examination can provide clarity on the diagnosis, appropriate testing, and management of these conditions. Today, with the development of sophisticated diagnostic tools such as high-resolution and high-definition (3-D) anorectal manometry, 3-D anal ultrasonography, magnetic resonance defecography and imaging, and neurophysiological tests such as translumbosacral anorectal magnetic stimulation, it is possible to more accurately define and characterize the underlying structural and functional abnormalities. In this review, we present a succinct update on the latest knowledge with regards to the pathophysiology, diagnosis and management of anal fissure, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, intussusception, rectocele, solitary rectal ulcer syndrome, levator ani syndrome, dyssynergic defecation and fecal incontinence.

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