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Incontinence in Coloproctology

Randomized, Controlled Trial of Anal Electrical Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence.
Norton C, Gibbs A, Kamm MA
Dis Colon Rectum. 2005 Dec 20;.

PURPOSE: Anal electric stimulation has been described as effective for fecal incontinence in several case series, but no study has addressed possible mechanism of benefit. We wished to examine whether anal electric stimulation, using an anal probe electrode, used on a daily basis at home for eight weeks, in the absence of any adjunctive exercises or advice, would improve symptoms of fecal incontinence and anal sphincter pressures when compared with "sham" electric stimulation. METHODS: Ninety patients (9 males, 81 females), with median age of 55 (range, 30-77) years were randomized, 47 to active anal stimulation at 35 Hz and 43 to "sham" stimulation at 1 Hz. Outcome measures included a one-week bowel diary, symptom questionnaire, manometry, and patients' evaluation of outcome. RESULTS: Seventy patients completed the study. On an intention-to-treat analysis, there was no difference between the two groups on any of the outcome measures after eight weeks. Of those who completed stimulation, 44 (63 percent) felt the stimulation had improved their continence. Those with intact anal sphincters were not likely to rate their change more positively than those with sphincter disruption (P = 0.71). Median patient rating of bowel control increased from 3 of 10 before stimulation to 5 of 10 after stimulation (P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Eight weeks of anal electric stimulation was rated by patients as having improved their bowel control to a modest extent. There was no statistically significant difference detected between the groups, suggesting that 1 Hz was as effective as 35 Hz. This raises the possibility that the main effect is not sphincter contraction but sensitization of the patient to the anal area, or simply the effect of intervening per se. Home electric stimulation is a relatively cheap and generally well-tolerated therapy in the conservative treatment of fecal incontinence.

Faecal incontinence in patients with anal fissure: a consequence of internal sphincterotomy or a feature of the condition?
Ammari FF, Bani-Hani KE
Surgeon. 2004 Aug;2(4):225-9.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The function of the internal sphincter is disturbed in patients with chronic anal fissure due to persistent hypertonia and it may lead to a certain degree of incontinence. Our aim is to assess the results of lateral internal sphincterotomy and to identify any degree of incontinence related to the disease. METHODS: This prospective study included a review of all patients operated upon by the authors who performed division of the internal sphincter at or below the upper limit of the fissure. A questionnaire was completed by each patient before surgery and then after surgery with regard to any degree of incontinence such as soiling of underclothes, control of flatus and accidental bowel motion. RESULTS: 126 patients with chronic anal fissure were studied. The male to female ratio was 0.8:1. Minor degrees of incontinence were present prior to surgery in 35 patients (28%) and in 31 (25%) patients after surgery, the majority of them were incontinent before surgery. CONCLUSION: Based on the results of this study, minor degrees of incontinence could be a symptom of chronic anal fissure and not the sequelae of lateral internal sphincterotomy.

Preliminary results of peripheral transcutaneous neuromodulation in the treatment of idiopathic fecal incontinence.
Queralto M, Portier G, Cabarrot PH, Bonnaud G, Chotard JP, Nadrigny M, Lazorthes F
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Dec 6;:1-3.

PURPOSE: Few therapeutic tools are available for treating idiopathic anal incontinence. Sacral neuromodulation appears to be effective in selected patients but requires surgical implantation of a permanent electrical stimulator. The aim of this work was to assess the efficiency of posterior tibial nerve (PTN) transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in the treatment of anal idiopathic incontinence. METHODS: Ten women were treated by PTN TENS, 20 min a day for 4 weeks. Functional results were evaluated by Wexner's incontinence score and anorectal manometry. RESULTS: Eight of the ten patients showed a 60% mean improvement of their incontinence score after 4 weeks. This improvement remained stable over the 12-week follow-up period. Manometric parameters did not differ before and after stimulation. CONCLUSION: PTN neuromodulation without surgically implanted electrode could represent a safe and low-cost alternative to permanent sacral neuromodulation for idiopathic anal incontinence.

Fecal incontinence in US women: a population-based study.
Melville JL, Fan MY, Newton K, Fenner D
Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005 Dec;193(6):2071-6.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of fecal incontinence (FI) and associated risk factors in a broad age range of community-dwelling women. STUDY DESIGN: This was a population-based, age-stratified postal survey of 6000 women aged 30 to 90 years enrolled in a large HMO in Washington State. Sample was linked to longitudinal automated medical data. FI was defined as loss of liquid or solid stool at least monthly. RESULTS: The response rate was 64%. The prevalence of FI was 7.2%; prevalence increased notably with age. Women with FI reported significant lifestyle alteration and functional disability. Older age (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.11-2.22), major depression (OR 2.73), urinary incontinence (OR 2.32), medical comorbidity (OR 1.76-2.58), and operative vaginal delivery (OR 1.52) were significantly associated with increased odds of FI. CONCLUSION: In this large report of US community-dwelling women, FI was a prevalent condition. Age, major depression, urinary incontinence, medical illness, and operative vaginal delivery were strongly associated with likelihood of FI.

Antegrade continence enema in the treatment of obstructed defaecation with or without faecal incontinence.
Hirst GR, Arumugam PJ, Watkins AJ, Mackey P, Morgan AR, Carr ND, Beynon J
Tech Coloproctol 2005 Nov 21;.

BACKGROUND: Obstructed defaecation and faecal incontinence are complex functional disorders that pose management challenges. In recent times, the antegrade continence enema (ACE) has been tried both as a primary procedure and as a final resort to avoid a colostomy in patients with a variety of functional problems. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of the ACE procedure as a treatment option for adult patients suffering from obstructed defaecation with or without faecal incontinence, some of whom also had slow transit constipation.METHODS: Twenty female patients underwent ACE as an appendicostomy (65%) or caecostomy (35%). The median age was 44 years (range, 20-65 years). The indications were obstructed defaecation with faecal incontinence (65%) and obstructed defaecation alone (35%). Fifteen of these patients were followed for 3-51 months (median, 6 months). Cleveland continence score, bowel score and quality of life score were recorded pre- and postoperatively along with post-procedure complications.RESULTS: Thirteen (65%) patients were satisfied with the outcome and recorded improvement in their scores while two (10%) remained the same and one (5%) was worse. This latter woman and another patient stopped using their ACE, whilst follow-up data was unavailable for three patients. Minor wound infections were noted in nine patients (45%), of whom one needed drainage of an abscess; the rest settled with antibiotics and dressings. Bowel and Cleveland continence scores improved postoperatively (p<0.001 and p=0.001, respectively) but SF36 scores did not. To date, no patient has had a colostomy following an ACE procedure.CONCLUSIONS: Colostomies can be avoided in patients with obstructed defaecation. There is, however, a need to minimise wound infections which seem to be the most troublesome complication.

Efficacy of Sacral Nerve Stimulation for Fecal Incontinence: Results of a Multicenter Double-Blind Crossover Study.
Leroi AM, Parc Y, Lehur PA, Mion F, Barth X, Rullier E, Bresler L, Portier G, Michot F
Ann Surg 2005 Nov;242(5):662-669.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: This is the first double-blind multicenter study examining the effectiveness of sacral nerve stimulation in a significant number of fecally incontinent patients. METHODS: A total of 34 consecutive patients (31 women), median age 57 years (range, 33-73 years), underwent sacral nerve stimulation for fecal incontinence. After implantation, 27 of 34 patients were randomized in a double-blind crossover design to stimulation ON or OFF for 1-month periods. While still blinded, the patients chose the period of stimulation (ON or OFF) that they had preferred. The mode of stimulation corresponding to the selected period was continued for 3 months (final period). Outcome measures were frequency of fecal incontinence and urgency episodes, delay in postponing defecation, score severity, feeling of improvement, preference for ON or OFF, quality of life, and manometric measurements. RESULTS: In the crossover portion of the study, the self-reported frequency of fecal incontinence episodes was significantly reduced during the ON versus the OFF period (P = 0.03), and this symptomatic improvement was consistent: 1) with the patients feeling of greater improvement during the ON versus OFF period (P = 0.02); 2) with the significant preference of patients (P = 0.02) for the ON versus OFF period. In the final period of the study, the frequency of fecal incontinence episodes decreased significantly (P = 0.005) in patients with the stimulator ON. The ability to postpone defecation (P = 0.01), the score for symptom severity (P = 0.0004), and the quality of life (P < 0.05) as well as anal sphincter function significantly improved. CONCLUSIONS: The significant improvement in FI during the ON versus OFF period indicated that the clinical benefit of sacral nerve stimulation was not due to placebo.

Functional changes after physiotherapy in fecal incontinence.
Dobben AC, Terra MP, Berghmans B, Deutekom M, Boeckxstaens GE, Janssen LW, Bossuyt PM, Stoker J
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Oct 22;:1-7.

BACKGROUND: Physiotherapy is a common treatment option in patients with fecal incontinence. Although physiotherapy may result in relief of symptoms, to what extent improvement is associated with changes in anorectal function is still unclear. AIM: The aim of the present study was to investigate prospectively how anorectal function changes with physiotherapy and whether these changes are related to changes in fecal incontinence score. METHODS: Consenting consecutive patients (n=266) with fecal incontinence (91% women; mean age, 59 years) underwent anorectal manometry, anal and rectal mucosal sensitivity measurements, and rectal capacity measurement at baseline and after nine sessions of standardized pelvic floor physiotherapy. These findings were compared with changes in Vaizey incontinence score. RESULTS: On follow-up 3 months after physiotherapy, squeeze pressure (p=0.028), as well as urge sensation threshold (p=0.046) and maximum tolerable volume (p=0.018), had increased significantly. The extent of improvement was not related to age, duration of fecal incontinence, menopause, and endosonography findings. All other anorectal functions did not change. An improvement in the Vaizey score was moderately correlated with an increase in incremental squeeze pressure (r=0.14, p=0.04) and a decrease in anal mucosal sensitivity threshold (r=0.20, p=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Physiotherapy improves squeeze pressure, urge sensation, and maximum tolerable volume. However, improved anorectal function does not always result in a decrease in fecal incontinence complaints.

Incontinence in Women With Surgically Managed Rectal Prolapse: A Population-Based Case-Control Study.
Altman D, Zetterstrom J, Schultz I, Nordenstam J, Hjern F, Lopez A, Mellgren A
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Nov 8;.

PURPOSE: This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of genital prolapse surgery and urinary incontinence in female patients operated on for rectal prolapse compared with a matched control group without rectal prolapse. METHODS: Fifty-two patients with a history of abdominal rectal prolapse surgery and 200 randomly selected age-matched and gender-matched control subjects without rectal prolapse received an extensive health care history survey. RESULTS: Response rate in the patient group was 48 of 52 (92 percent) and 165 of 200 (82 percent) in the control group. Rectal prolapse was associated with an increased risk of surgery for uterine prolapse (odds ratio = 3.1; 95 percent confidence interval = 1.4-6.9) and vaginal wall prolapse (odds ratio = 3.2; 95 percent confidence interval = 1.3-7.8). Mean age at hysterectomy because of uterine prolapse was 54.7 years in the patient group compared with 62.6 years in the control group (P < 0.01). Mean age at vaginal wall prolapse surgery was 60.2 years in the patient group compared with 66.6 years in the control group (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the cohorts regarding prevalence or age at debut of urinary incontinence. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate a strong association between rectal and genital prolapse surgery suggesting that diagnosis of rectal prolapse necessitating surgical intervention should prompt a multidisciplinary pelvic floor assessment.

Telephone vs. Face-to-Face Biofeedback for Fecal Incontinence: Comparison of Two Techniques in 239 Patients.
Byrne CM, Solomon MJ, Rex J, Young JM, Heggie D, Merlino C
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Oct 25;.

PURPOSE: Biofeedback is an effective treatment for patients with fecal incontinence, yet little is known about how it works or the minimum regime necessary to provide clinical benefit. This study compares the effectiveness of a novel protocol of telephone-assisted biofeedback treatment for patients living in rural and remote areas with the standard face-to-face protocol for patients with fecal incontinence. METHODS: A new treatment program comprising an initial face-to-face assessment and treatment with transanal manometry and ultrasound biofeedback, followed by three treatments conducted via telephone and a final face-to-face assessment, was developed. Standard treatment involved five face-to-face treatment sessions with manometry and ultrasound. Patients from rural areas were offered the telephone-assisted treatment protocol. Data gathered prospectively included incontinence scores, a quality of life index, anal manometry, and external sphincter isometric and isotonic fatigue times. RESULTS: A total of 239 consecutive patients treated between July 2001 and July 2004 were enrolled. There were no significant differences in demographic details, past history, or pretreatment measures of the two groups. Forty-six of 55 patients (84 percent) treated with the telephone protocol and 129 of 184 (70 percent) treated by the standard technique completed treatment. There were substantial, significant improvements after treatment, including 54 percent mean improvement in patient's own rating of their incontinence in both groups; a mean decrease of 3.1 and 3.2 on the St. Mark's incontinence score (from 7.9 to 4.7 and 7.4 to 4.2 of 13) and relative improvements of 128 and 130 percent in the quality of life index (from 0.29 to 0.65 and 0.3 to 0.69 of 1) for the telephone-assisted and standard groups respectively. Importantly, there were no significant differences between the telephone-assisted or standard groups in any outcome. Of patients who completed treatment, 78 percent were better or much better. CONCLUSIONS: A less intensive regime of biofeedback seems to be equally effective as the standard intensive protocol. This finding adds weight to the evolving concept that the physical aspects of biofeedback treatment, such as manometry or ultrasound, may not be necessary in the treatment of most patients with fecal incontinence. This needs to be further tested in a randomized, controlled trial.

Artificial sphincter with colonic reservoir for severe anal incontinence because of imperforate anus and short-bowel syndrome: report of a case.
Benoist S, Panis Y, Michot F, Coffin B, Messing B, Valleur P
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Oct;48(10):1978-82.

Anal sphincter replacement is a treatment option for severe anal incontinence that is not amenable to direct repair. We describe the unusual case of a 25-year-old male who has been successfully treated by implantable artificial sphincter for severe anal incontinence caused by imperforate anus and concomitant short-bowel syndrome. In early life, the patient underwent several surgical procedures, including a perineal colostomy for a high imperforate anus associated with a rectourethral fistula. At aged 21 years, he underwent a subtotal small-bowel resection and a restorative jejunotransverse anastomosis for acute intestinal necrosis related to intestinal malrotation with volvulus. The length of remnant jejunum was 90 cm. Consequently. the patient became permanently incontinent and required nutritional therapy. An artificial sphincter, after the creation of colonic reservoir, was implanted around the pulled-through colon. At two-year follow-up after implantation, despite short remnant bowel, the patient was fully continent without medication. Normal nutritional status was maintained under 100 percent oral nutrition. The patient's quality of life improved dramatically. He has returned to work and had no major restriction in his level of social functioning. Our case illustrates for the first time the original concept of artificial anal artificial sphincter implantation around a pulled-through colon, which constitutes a different situation from disease with rectum in place.

Prospective comparison of short- and long-term effects of pelvic floor exercise/biofeedback training in patients with fecal incontinence after surgery plus irradiation versus surgery alone for colorectal cancer: Clinical, functional and endoscopic/endoson
Allgayer H, Dietrich CF, Rohde W, Koch GF, Tuschhoff T
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 Oct;40(10):1168-75.

Objective. The influence of irradiation on the clinical severity of incontinence, sphincter function, morphologic features and short/long-term treatment effects of sphincter training therapy is still insufficiently understood in irradiated patients with fecal incontinence after surgery for colorectal cancer. These parameters were compared in irradiated and non-irradiated patients and followed prospectively with regard to short- and long-term training effects. Material and methods. Forty-one patients having been irradiated after surgery (50.0+/-5.0 Gy) and 54 non-irradiated patients with fecal incontinence participated in this prospective, non-randomized trial. Baseline evaluation included a semiquantitative severity assessment score of fecal incontinence (modified Cleveland Incontinence Score (MCIS)), rectal manometry and endoscopy. After 3 weeks (short term) of intensive in-hospital pelvic floor exercise combined with biofeedback training, a second evaluation was made. In addition, anal endosonography (EUS) was performed in cases of treatment failure. After one year (long term) a third evaluation was made clinically (MCIS score). Results. Irradiated patients presented with a significantly higher degree of fecal incontinence (lower MCIS) compared to non-irradiated patients: 7.4+/-2.2 versus 8.7+/-2.7 points (p<0.001). Rectosigmoidal inflammation was more frequent in irradiated than non-irradiated patients (26.9% versus 9.3%) (p<0.03). Sphincter pressure, sensation/pain threshold and the rectoanal inhibitory reflex were similar in both groups. A significant short-term training effect was observed in both groups following sphincter training therapy in terms of an increase in MCIS from 7.4+/-2.2 to 9.4+/-2.7 points in the irradiated group and from 8.7+/-2.7 to 11.4+/-2.5 points in the non-irradiated group (p<0.0001). After one year the scores were 8.2+/-3.8 and 10.7+/-4.4 points, respectively (p<0.0001). There was a significant correlation (p<0.001) between baseline MCIS and the short- and long-term MCIS. In patients with short-term treatment failure (16.6%) anal EUS revealed structural defects of the external sphincter in four patients. There was no association of sphincter diameter with sphincter pressure, sensation/pain threshold and short/long-term MCIS. Conclusions. The main result of this study is that irradiated patients show short- and long-term training effects comparable with those of non-irradiated patients despite the higher degree of incontinence at baseline. The correlation between the initial MCIS and short- and long-term treatment effects may be regarded as an important clinical predictor for treatment outcome. Functional and morphologic features are less suitable for this purpose.

Risk Factors for Female Anal Incontinence: New Insight Through the Evanston-Northwestern Twin Sisters Study.
Abramov Y, Sand PK, Botros SM, Gandhi S, Miller JJ, Nickolov A, Goldberg RP
Obstet Gynecol 2005 Oct;106(4):726-732.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate risk factors for anal incontinence using an identical twin sisters study design to provide control over genetic variance. METHODS: A total of 271 identical twin sister pairs (mean age 47 years) completed the validated Colorectal Anal Distress Inventory questionnaire detailing the presence and severity of anal incontinence. Data were analyzed using a stepwise logistic regression with repeated binary measures to account for correlated data within twin pairs. Three different statistical models were used to analyze nonobstetric as well as obstetric risk factors separately. RESULTS: Significant risk factors for anal incontinence and higher Colorectal Anal Distress Inventory anal incontinence subscale scores included age 40 years or older (fecal: odds ratio [OR] 2.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21-6.0; flatal: OR 1.90, 95% CI 1.11-3.24), menopause (fecal: OR 2.10, 95% CI 1.15-3.8; flatal: OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.43-3.13), increasing parity (parity >/= 2; fecal: OR 3.09, 95% CI 1.25-7.65; flatal: OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.65-4.51), and the presence of stress urinary incontinence (fecal: OR 2.11, 95% CI 1.12-3.98; flatal: OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.14-2.59). Obesity was associated with significantly higher Colorectal Anal Distress Inventory anal incontinence subscale scores (mean difference 5.18, P = .007). Cesarean delivery after initiation of labor was associated with a lower prevalence of anal incontinence than vaginal birth; however, this difference was not statistically significant (17% compared with 4%, P = .11). No anal incontinence was noted in women who had only elective cesarean deliveries. CONCLUSION: Age, menopause, obesity, parity, and stress urinary incontinence are the major risk factors for female anal incontinence. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: II-2.

Differences in outcomes after third- versus fourth-degree perineal laceration repair: a prospective study.
Nichols CM, Lamb EH, Ramakrishnan V
Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005 Aug;193(2):530-4; discussion 534-6.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare outcomes after third- versus fourth-degree laceration repair. STUDY DESIGN: Fifty-six primiparous women who sustained a third- or fourth-degree tear were enrolled at delivery and demographic and obstetric data were collected. At 6 weeks' postpartum, subjects completed a bowel function questionnaire and endoanal ultrasonography was performed. Fisher exact test and chi-square were used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: Thirty-nine women with third- and 17 with fourth-degree tears were enrolled. Subjects with fourth- were more likely to report bowel symptoms (59% vs 28%, P = .03), and to demonstrate persistent combined defects of the internal (IAS) and external anal sphincter (EAS) (48% vs 8%, P = .002) than third-degree tears. Combined defects were associated with the highest risk of bowel symptoms (OR 18.7, 95% CI 3-101, P < .001). CONCLUSION: Bowel symptoms were more common after fourth- than third-degree repair, and may be secondary to higher rates of combined defects of the IAS and EAS.

Occiput posterior fetal head position increases the risk of anal sphincter injury in vacuum-assisted deliveries.
Wu JM, Williams KS, Hundley AF, Connolly A, Visco AG
Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005 Aug;193(2):525-8; discussion 528-9.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether an occiput posterior (OP) fetal head position increases the risk for anal sphincter injury when compared with an occiput anterior (OA) position in vacuum-assisted deliveries. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 393 vacuum-assisted singleton vaginal deliveries. Maternal demographics and obstetric and neonatal data were collected from an obstetric database and chart review. RESULTS: Within the OP group, 41.7% developed a third- or fourth-degree laceration compared with 22.0% in the OA group (OR 2.5, 95% CI 1.4-4.7). In a logistic regression model that controlled for BMI, race, nulliparity, length of second stage, episiotomy, birth weight, head circumference, and fetal head position, OP position was 4.0 times (95% CI 1.7-9.6) more likely to be associated with an anal sphincter injury than OA position. CONCLUSION: Among vacuum deliveries, an OP head position confers an incrementally increased risk for anal sphincter injury over an OA position.

Anal Sphincter Defects in Patients with Fecal Incontinence: Endoanal versus External Phased-Array MR Imaging.
Terra MP, Beets-Tan RG, van Der Hulst VP, Dijkgraaf MG, Bossuyt PM, Dobben AC, Baeten CG, Stoker J
Radiology 2005 Jul 12;.

PURPOSE: To prospectively compare external phased-array magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with endoanal MR imaging in depicting external and internal anal sphincter defects in patients with fecal incontinence and to prospectively evaluate observer reproducibility in the detection of external and internal anal sphincter defects with both MR imaging techniques. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The medical ethics committees of both participating hospitals approved the study, and informed consent was obtained. Thirty patients (23 women, seven men; mean age, 58.7 years; range, 37-78 years) with fecal incontinence underwent MR imaging with both endoanal and external phased-array coils. MR images were evaluated by three radiologists with different levels of experience for external and internal anal sphincter defects. Measures of inter- and intraobserver agreement of both MR imaging techniques and of differences between both imaging techniques were calculated. RESULTS: Both MR imaging techniques did not significantly differ in the depiction of external (P > .99) and internal (P > .99) anal sphincter defects. The techniques corresponded in 25 (83%) of 30 patients for the depiction of external anal sphincter defects and in 28 (93%) of 30 patients for the depiction of internal anal sphincter defects. Interobserver agreement was moderate to good for endoanal MR imaging and poor to fair for external phased-array MR imaging. Intraobserver agreement ranged from fair to very good for both imaging techniques. CONCLUSION: External phased-array MR imaging is comparable to endoanal MR imaging in the depiction of clinically relevant anal sphincter defects. Because of the weak interobserver agreement, both MR imaging techniques can be recommended in the diagnostic work-up of fecal incontinence only if sufficient experience is available. (c) RSNA, 2005.

Costs of outpatients with fecal incontinence.
Deutekom M, Dobben AC, Dijkgraaf MG, Terra MP, Stoker J, Bossuyt PM
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 May;40(5):552-8.

OBJECTIVE: Fecal incontinence is a problem with a high prevalence. Patients generally suffer from their problems for many years. It has been shown that quality of life is negatively affected but health economic data for fecal incontinence are limited. The aim of this study was to estimate the costs associated with fecal incontinence in a large outpatient study group, taking a societal perspective. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Based on questionnaire data, we calculated the costs of health-care resources, out-of-pocket expenses and costs associated with production losses in paid and unpaid work. RESULTS: Data were available for 253 patients, of which 228 (90%) were female and 209 (83%) were treated in an academic medical center. The mean age of patients was 59 years (SD+/-13) with a mean duration of incontinence of 8.5 years (SD+/-8.3). Total costs were estimated on C2169 per fecal incontinent patient per year. Production losses in paid and unpaid work accounted for more than half of the total costs and costs of health-care visits accounted for almost a fifth of total costs. Costs associated with protective material (partially reimbursable and not reimbursable) formed only one-tenth of total costs, while incontinence medication was responsible for only 5% of total costs. CONCLUSIONS: More than half of total costs of fecal incontinence are made up of indirect non-medical costs. The costs associated with the use of incontinence material and other personal expenses are limited.

Fecal incontinence: a review of prevalence and obstetric risk factors.
Wang A, Guess M, Connell K, Powers K, Lazarou G, Mikhail M
Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 2005 Jun 23;.

Anal incontinence (AI) is a significant problem that causes social and hygienic inconvenience. The true prevalence of AI is difficult to estimate due to inconsistencies in research methods, but larger studies suggest a rate of 2-6% for incontinence to stool. There is a significant association between sonographically detected anal sphincter defects and symptoms of AI. The intrapartum factors most consistently associated with a higher risk of AI include: forceps delivery, third or fourth degree tears, and length of the second stage of labor. Fetal weight of > 4,000 g is also associated with AI. Repair of the sphincter can be performed in either an overlapping or an end-to-end fashion, with similar results for both methods. The role of cesarean delivery for the prevention of AI remains unclear, and further study should be devoted to this question.

The colon flap/extension Malone antegrade continence enema: an alternative to the Monti-Malone antegrade continence enema.
Herndon CD, Cain MP, Casale AJ, Rink RC
J Urol 2005 Jul;174(1):299-302.

PURPOSE: In situations where the appendix is not available for the Malone antegrade continence enema (MACE) procedure a Yang-Monti channel or a colon flap conduit can be created. We report our experience with colonic flap conduits used for the MACE. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 169 MACE procedures were performed between February 1997 and March 2003. In 11 patients 12 colon flaps or cecal extensions were used to construct the MACE conduit. Diagnoses included myelomeningocele (8 patients), caudal regression (1), sacral agenesis (1) and gunshot wound (1). Mean age at creation of MACE was 11.3 years (range 4.4 to 16.9). Seven cecal flaps, 1 descending colon flap and 4 cecal extension flaps were created. RESULTS: Average followup was 22.8 months (range 2.6 to 34.6). Indications for colon flap MACE were appendicovesicostomy (6 patients), short appendix (2), shortened mesentery (1), retrocecal appendix (1), prior appendectomy (1) and right hemicolectomy (1). Initially all patients easily catheterized and flushed the MACE once daily. All 11 patients achieved fecal continence. Complications occurred in 3 cases. One obese patient could not visualize the umbilical stoma and it stenosed, requiring conversion to a spiral Monti-MACE. One patient with a cecal extension had development of a false passage, resulting in complete channel stenosis. One patient had development of stomal leakage, which was successfully treated with dextranomer/hyaluronic acid copolymer injection. CONCLUSIONS: A colon flap MACE conduit is a simple technique to provide access to the colon for irrigation. When faced with situations were the appendix is not available for the MACE procedure the colon flap can be a good option.

Diagnosis of anal sphincter tears to prevent fecal incontinence: a randomized controlled trial.
Faltin DL, Boulvain M, Floris LA, Irion O
Obstet Gynecol 2005 Jul;106(1):6-13.

Objective: Maternal anal sphincter tears after vaginal delivery are frequently not diagnosed clinically and are associated with subsequent fecal incontinence. This study examined whether diagnosis of these tears by ultrasonography, followed by immediate surgical repair, reduces the occurrence of incontinence. Methods: We conducted a randomized trial involving 752 primiparous women without a clinically evident anal sphincter tear to evaluate the benefit of adding endoanal ultrasonography immediately after vaginal delivery to the standard clinical examination of the perineum. When a sphincter tear was diagnosed, the perineum was surgically explored and the sphincter sutured. The main outcome evaluated was fecal incontinence 3 months postpartum graded by the Wexner incontinence scale, which measures incontinence to flatus and liquid or solid stools, need to wear a pad, and lifestyle alterations. Results: Among women assessed by ultrasonography, 5.6% had a sphincter tear. Severe incontinence was reported 3 months after childbirth by 3.3% of women in the intervention group compared with 8.7% in the control group (risk difference -5.4%; 95% confidence interval -8.9 to -2.0; P = .002). The benefit of the intervention persisted 1 year after delivery, with 3.2% severe incontinence in the intervention group compared with 6.7% in the control group (risk difference -3.5%; 95% confidence interval -6.8% to -0.3%; P = .03). Ultrasonography needs to be performed in 29 women to prevent 1 case of severe fecal incontinence. Conclusion: Ultrasound examination of the perineum after childbirth improves the diagnosis of anal sphincter tears, and their immediate repair decreases the risk of severe fecal incontinence. Level of Evidence: I.

Continent ileostomy: current experience.
Castillo E, Thomassie LM, Whitlow CB, Margolin DA, Malcolm J, Beck DE
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Jun;48(6):1263-8.

PURPOSE: This study was designed to review our recent experience with continent ileostomies and evaluate patient outcomes. METHODS: Retrospective chart reviews and phone interviews of patients who underwent a continent ileostomy operation from 1993 to 2003 at the Ochsner Clinic Foundation were performed. RESULTS: Twenty-four patients (19 females; age range, 22-73 years) had construction of continent ileostomies (modified Kock pouch). There were no intraoperative mortalities or stoma-related deaths. The mean operating room time for primary construction was 3.9 +/- 0.57 hours with a mean length of stay of 7 +/- 2 days. The average follow-up period was 66 (range, 6-134) months. The most common underlying indication for the construction of a continent ileostomy was ulcerative colitis (71 percent). Thirteen patients had a continent ileostomy created for conversion of a Brooke ileostomy and seven for a failed ileoanal pouch. Other indications included colonic inertia and incontinence in three patients and one patient who had failed multiple operations for Hirschsprung's disease. A total of 28 revisions were performed in 14 patients (58 percent). Six patients required multiple procedures. Operative revisions included 12 skin level revision for stenosis, 11 operations for valve repairs, and 1 each for peristomal hernia repair, stomal relocation, and pouch repair for fistulas. Two patients had their pouches removed (Crohn's disease and inability to manage pouch). The need for revision by 12 months was 29 percent, and the average time period before the first revision was 24 months (range, 4 days to 109 months). The overall failure rate (converted to conventional ileostomy) was only 8.3 percent. Ninety percent of the patients have continent pouches and are satisfied with their pouch function. CONCLUSIONS: Continent ileostomies continue to have a high rate of reoperations, reasonable functional results, and are a viable option for failed ileal pouch-anal pouch patients. Surgeons electing to perform continent ileostomies must carefully select their patients and advise them of the high potential for reoperations. Despite a high reoperation rate, patients are pleased with their continent ileostomies.

Long-Term Anorectal Dysfunction After Postoperative Radiotherapy for Rectal Cancer.

Lundby L, Krogh K, Jensen VJ, Gandrup P, Qvist N, Overgaard J, Laurberg S.
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 May 16;.

PURPOSE: Adjuvant radiotherapy in the treatment of rectal cancer has been shown to increase long-term morbidity causing severe anorectal dysfunction with physiologic changes whose interaction remains poorly understood. This study examines long-term anorectal morbidity from adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy. METHODS: In a prospective study, patients with Dukes B or C rectal carcinoma were randomized to postoperative radiotherapy or no adjuvant treatment after anterior resection. The long-term effect of radiotherapy on anorectal function in a subset of surviving patients was assessed from a questionnaire on subjective symptoms and from physiology laboratory evaluation and flexible sigmoidoscopy. RESULTS: Twelve of 15 patients (80 percent) treated with radiotherapy had increased bowel frequency compared with 3 of the 13 patients (23 percent) who did not have radiation therapy (P = 0.003). The former group had loose or liquid stool more often (60 vs. 23 percent, P = 0.05), had fecal incontinence more often (60 vs. 8 percent, P = 0.004), and wore pad more often (47 vs. 0 percent, P = 0.004). They also experienced fecal urgency and were unable to differentiate stool from gas more often. Endoscopy revealed a pale and atrophied mucosa and telangiectasias in the irradiated patients. Anorectal physiology showed a reduced rectal capacity (146 vs. 215 ml, P = 0.03) and maximum squeeze pressure (59 vs. 93 cm H(2)O, P = 0.003) in the radiotherapy group. Impedance planimetry demonstrated a reduced rectal distensibility in these patients (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy after anterior resection causes severe long-term anorectal dysfunction, which is mainly the result of a weakened, less sensitive anal sphincter and an undistensible rectum with reduced capacity.

Elective cesarean section to prevent anal incontinence and brachial plexus injuries associated with macrosomia--a decision analysis.
Culligan PJ, Myers JA, Goldberg RP, Blackwell L, Gohmann SF, Abell TD. Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 2005 Jan-Feb;16(1):19-28; discussion 28. Epub 2004 Jul 29.

Our aim was to determine the cost-effectiveness of a policy of elective C-section for macrosomic infants to prevent maternal anal incontinence, urinary incontinence, and newborn brachial plexus injuries. We used a decision analytic model to compare the standard of care with a policy whereby all primigravid patients in the United States would undergo an ultrasound at 39 weeks gestation, followed by an elective C-section for any fetus estimated at > or =4500 g. The following clinical consequences were considered crucial to the analysis: brachial plexus injury to the newborn; maternal anal and urinary incontinence; emergency hysterectomy; hemorrhage requiring blood transfusion; and maternal mortality. Our outcome measures included (1) number of brachial plexus injuries or cases of incontinence averted, (2) incremental monetary cost per 100,000 deliveries, (3) expected quality of life of the mother and her child, and (4) "quality-adjusted life years" (QALY) associated with the two policies. For every 100,000 deliveries, the policy of elective C-section resulted in 16.6 fewer permanent brachial plexus injuries, 185.7 fewer cases of anal incontinence, and cost savings of $3,211,000. Therefore, this policy would prevent one case of anal incontinence for every 539 elective C-sections performed. The expected quality of life associated with the elective C-section policy was also greater (quality of life score 0.923 vs 0.917 on a scale from 0.0 to 1.0 and 53.6 QALY vs 53.2). A policy whereby primigravid patients in the United States have a 39 week ultrasound-estimated fetal weight followed by C-section for any fetuses > or =4500 g appears cost effective. However, the monetary costs in our analysis were sensitive to the probability estimates of urinary incontinence following C-section and vaginal delivery and the cost estimates for urinary incontinence, vaginal delivery, and C-section.

Incontinence After a Lateral Internal Sphincterotomy: Are We Underestimating It?
Casillas S, Hull TL, Zutshi M, Trzcinski R, Bast JF, Xu M.
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 May 2;.

PURPOSE: This study was designed to assess the long-term outcomes and quality of life of patients who have undergone a sphincterotomy for chronic anal fissure. METHODS: The medical records of patients who underwent this operation between 1992 and 2001 were reviewed. A questionnaire was mailed to assess their current status, along with the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life and Fecal Incontinence Severity Index surveys. RESULTS: A total of 298 patients were identified (158 males; 53 percent; mean age, 46.9 years; mean follow-up, 4.3 years). Postal survey response was 62 percent. Recurrence of the fissure occurred in 17 patients (5.6 percent) of whom 9 (52 percent) were females. Significant factors that resulted in recurrence were initial sphincterotomy performed in the office and local anesthesia (P < 0.001). When comparing office records and response to the postal survey, significantly more patients had flatal incontinence than that recorded in their medical records (P < 0.001). Twenty-nine percent of females who had a vaginal delivery recorded problems with incontinence to flatus (P = 0.04). Temporary incontinence was reported in 31 percent of patients and persistent incontinence to gas occurred in 30 percent. Stool incontinence was not a significant finding. The overall quality-of-life scores were in the normal range, whereas the median Fecal Incontinence Severity Index score was 12. CONCLUSIONS: Recurrence after lateral internal sphincterotomy may be higher after local anesthesia or office procedure. Females who have two or more previous vaginal deliveries should be warned about possible flatal incontinence. Long-term flatal incontinence that is not reported to the caregiver may occur in up to one-third of patients and could be permanent.

Frequency of Persistent Anal Symptoms After First Instrumental Delivery.
Mazouni C, Bretelle F, Battar S, Bonnier P, Gamerre M.
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 May 17;.

This study was designed to evaluate persistent anal symptoms after first instrumental delivery beyond the postpartum period. METHODS: This prospective study was performed in a cohort of primiparas who underwent instrumental delivery from January 1, 2001 to September 30, 2002. Questionnaires for anal symptoms were completed in the maternity ward on the day after delivery and by mail or telephone up to 12 months after the end of the inclusion period. Symptoms of fecal incontinence (solid and/or liquid stool) and precursor symptoms (flatus incontinence, soiling, and/or fecal urgency) were recorded. RESULTS: Of the 212 females who completed the first questionnaire, 159 (75 percent) responded to the second. Overall, 8.8 percent of females had solid and/or liquid stool incontinence, 7.5 percent had involuntary flatus, 8.2 percent had symptoms of fecal urgency, and 24.5 percent experienced new anal symptoms, Of the five females with third-degree tears, none complained of anal incontinence. The only significant difference in delivery data between females who did and did not develop new anal symptoms was larger fetal head size in the new symptom group (96.4 vs. 93.9 mm, respectively; P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Frequency of new anal symptoms other than incontinence beyond postpartum period is underestimated in primiparas after instrumental delivery. Only fetal head size was found to predict occurrence of persistent anal incompetence after instrumental delivery.

Sacral Nerve Stimulation Can Be Successful in Patients With Ultrasound Evidence of External Anal Sphincter Disruption.
Conaghan P, Farouk R.
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 May 26;.

PURPOSE: This study was designed to determine whether patients with fecal incontinence and endoanal ultrasound evidence of anal
sphincter disruption may be successfully treated by sacral nerve stimulation. METHODS: Five consecutive females with incontinence to solids and endoanal ultrasound evidence of anal sphincter disruption were treated by a two-week trial of sacral nerve stimulation. If successful, patients then proceeded to permanent sacral nerve stimulation implantation. RESULTS: Five patients, aged 34 to 56 years, were treated by temporary sacral nerve stimulation. Four had symptoms starting after childbirth. Two had previously had an anterior sphincter repair. After a two-week trial, three females reported full continence and an improvement in all aspects of their Rockwood fecal incontinence quality of life scores. These three females underwent permanent sacral nerve stimulation implantation. The remaining two patients reported no improvement and underwent dynamic graciloplasty or end colostomy respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Sacral nerve stimulation may successfully restore bowel continence in some patients with endoanal ultrasound evidence of a defect in their external anal sphincter.

Quality of life measures for fecal incontinence and their use in children.
Trajanovska M, Catto-Smith AG.
J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005 Jun;20(6):919-28.

Abstract Background: Fecal incontinence is a common problem within society from childhood through to the elderly. Its clinical assessment has focussed on severity and frequency of soiling episodes but it is increasingly recognized to have an impact on physical, psychological and social well-being (quality of life [QOL]). This is likely to be particularly important in childhood. The aim of the present study was to critically evaluate the development and application of disease-specific QOL measures, focusing particularly on their use in children. Methods: Generally recognized disease-specific QOL measures for fecal incontinence were identified and their generation and validation were critically evaluated. Results: Six instruments were identified: Ditesheim and Templeton QOL Scoring System, Manchester Health Questionnaire, Hirschsprung's Disease/Anorectal Malformation Quality of Life Questionnaire (HAQL), Gastrointestinal Quality of Life Index (GIQLI), Fecal Incontinence TyPE Specification, and the Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life Scale (FIQL). Although the FIQL appeared to be the better tool for adults with fecal incontinence because it was brief and had the best validity and reliability, it needed further modification to become appropriate for use in children. In particular, items relating to sexual activity were inappropriate. Conclusion: Neither the FIQL nor other disease-specific instruments met basic psychometric standards for use in children with fecal incontinence. Substantial revision of currently available instruments will be required to meet the needs of this population.

Primary repair of obstetric anal sphincter laceration: a randomized trial of two surgical techniques.
Garcia V, Rogers RG, Kim SS, Hall RJ, Kammerer-Doak DN.
Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005 May;192(5):1697-701.

OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to compare surgical techniques for the primary repair of obstetric anal sphincter lacerations. STUDY DESIGN: Patients with complete third- or fourth-degree lacerations were recruited and randomly assigned to either an end-to-end or overlapping repair. Data collection included demographic data, obstetric history, and intrapartum events. Postpartum, women completed incontinence questionnaires and underwent physical and ultrasound examinations. To detect a 36% difference between groups with an alpha = .05 and beta = .20, 30 patients were required. Data were analyzed with Student t test and chi2 analysis. RESULTS: Forty-one women were randomly assigned; 23 to an end-to-end and 18 to an overlapping repair. Twenty-seven percent of women underwent episiotomy and 61% operative vaginal delivery. Follow-up was limited to 26 of 41 patients. On physical examination, 3 patients had a separated anal sphincter. On ultrasound, overall 85% of patients had intact sphincters, with no difference between groups (all P > .05). Forty-two percent of women complained of anorectal symptoms with no differences between groups (all P > .28). CONCLUSION: We found no difference in anal incontinence symptoms, physical examination, or translabial ultrasonography findings between the 2 groups. Incontinence symptoms were common in both groups.

Rectal sensorimotor dysfunction in patients with urge faecal incontinence: evidence from prolonged manometric studies.
Chan CL, Lunniss PJ, Wang D, Williams NS, Scott MS.
Gut 2005 May 24;.

Although external anal sphincter dysfunction is the major cause of urge faecal incontinence, ~50% of such patients have evidence of rectal hypersensitivity, and report exaggerated stool frequency and urgency. The contribution of rectosigmoid contractile activity to the pathophysiology of this condition is unclear, and thus the relations between symptoms, rectal sensation and rectosigmoid motor function were investigated. METHODS: Fifty two consecutive patients with urge faecal incontinence, referred to a tertiary surgical centre, and 24 volunteers, underwent comprehensive anorectal physiological investigation, including prolonged rectosigmoid manometry. Patients were classified on the basis of balloon distension thresholds into those with rectal hypersensitivity (n=27) and those with normal rectal sensation (n=25). Automated quantitative analysis of overall rectosigmoid contractile activities, and specifically, high amplitude contractions and rectal motor complex activity was performed. RESULTS: External anal sphincter dysfunction was similar in both patient groups. Overall, phasic activity and high amplitude contraction frequency were greater, and rectal motor complex variables significantly altered, in those with rectal hypersensitivity. Symptoms, more prevalent in the rectal hypersensitivity group, were also more often associated with rectosigmoid contractile events. For individuals, reduced compliance and increased rectal motor complex frequency were only observed in patients with rectal hypersensitivity. CONCLUSIONS: We have identified a subset of patients with urge faecal incontinence, namely those with rectal hypersensitivity, who demonstrated increased symptoms, enhanced perception, reduced compliance, and exaggerated rectosigmoid motor activity. Comprehensive assessment of rectosigmoid sensorimotor function, in addition to evaluation of anal function, should be considered in the investigation of patients with urge faecal incontinence.

Injectable bulking agents for treating faecal incontinence.
Vaizey CJ, Kamm MA
Br J Surg 2005 May;92(5):521-7.

BACKGROUND: Reports of the use of injectable bulking agents for faecal incontinence are currently confined to a small number of pilot studies. However, the use of these agents is rapidly becoming widespread based on this limited knowledge. METHODS: This review provides an overview of the products available and the methods of delivery based on the pilot studies, selected articles reporting experience of these agents in urology, plastic surgery and laryngology, and some animal studies. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Although bulking agents have been used to treat urinary incontinence for over four decades, their use in faecal incontinence has so far been limited. The large choice of products now available and the lack of a defined injection strategy will hamper efforts to produce meaningful prospective randomized trials. Copyright (c) 2005 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Outcome of overlapping anal sphincter repair after 3 months and after a mean of 80 months.
Barisic GI, Krivokapic ZV, Markovic VA, Popovic MA
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Apr 14;.

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine the functional results of anal sphincter repair after a long follow-up (mean 80.1 months). METHODS: In the period 1990-2002, 65 sphincter repairs were performed. Obstetric trauma was the cause of incontinence in 72.3% cases, fistulotomy in 13.8%, nonspecific trauma in 9.2%, and war injury in 4.6%. At the time of surgery, 12 patients had undergone an urgent stoma procedure. In all cases, anal manometry, electromyography, and defecography were performed. The severity of incontinence was evaluated preoperatively using the Wexner score system. Anterior sphincteroplasty was performed in 52 cases, lateral in 9 cases, and posterior in 4 cases. RESULTS: The results were determined according to the Wexner score system and the Browning-Parks scale. The Wexner score was calculated 3 months after operation and during every follow-up visit. Preoperative scores and those at the first and last follow-up visits were analyzed. Three months after operation excellent results were achieved in 55.5%, good in 18.5%, fair in 16.9%, and poor in 9.2% patients. After follow-up (mean 80.1 months), 26.8% had excellent results, 21.4% had good results, 12.5% had fair results, and 39.3% of patients had a poor outcome. Results determined by the Wexner score system improved from 17.8 preoperatively to 3.6 three months after operation, but deteriorated over time to 6.3 after longer follow-up (p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Overlapping sphincter repair provides satisfactory results in more than two-thirds of patients initially, but the results tend to worsen over time and are satisfactory in half of patients after longer follow-up.

Sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence following a rectosigmoid resection for colorectal cancer.
Jarrett ME, Matzel KE, Stosser M, Christiansen J, Rosen H, Kamm MA
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Apr 21;.

INTRODUCTION: Following recto-sigmoid resection some patients may become faecally incontinent and remain so despite conservative treatment. This multicentre prospective study assessed the use of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) in this group. METHODS: All patients had more than or equal to 4 days of faecal incontinence for solid or liquid stools over a 21-day period following recto-sigmoid resection for colorectal carcinoma. The operation had to have been deemed curative. They had to have failed pharmacological and biofeedback treatment. RESULTS: Three male patients met these criteria. One had had a colo-anal and two a colo-rectal anastomosis for rectal carcinoma. All patients had intact internal and external anal sphincters. Two patients had a successful temporary stimulation period and proceeded to permanent implantation. Pre-operative symptom duration was 1 year in the permanently implanted patients. They were followed up for 12 months. SNS improved the number of faecally incontinent episodes in both patients. Ability to defer was improved in both patients from 0-5 min to 5-15 min. The faecal incontinence-specific ASCRS quality of life assessment improved in all four subcategories. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that SNS may be effective in the treatment of patients with faecal incontinence following recto-sigmoid resection if conservative treatment has failed.

Fecal incontinence after stapled transanal rectotomy managed with Durasphere injection.
Spyrou M, De Nardi P
Tech Coloproctol 2005 Apr;9(1):87.

Patients' Views of a Colostomy for Fecal Incontinence.
Norton C, Burch J, Kamm MA
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Mar 28;.

INTRODUCTION: Formation of a permanent stoma often is seen as a last resort when all other interventions for fecal incontinence have failed. However, no previous study has examined patients' views of a colostomy to manage fecal incontinence. METHODS: People who had a colostomy to manage fecal incontinence were recruited via an advertisement in the magazine of the British Colostomy Association or from those operated at a specialist colorectal hospital. Four questionnaires were sent, asking about the stoma, previous incontinence, anxiety and depression, and quality of life. RESULTS: A total of 69 replies were received. Respondents were 11 males and 58 females with a median age of 64 years and a median of 59 months since the operation. Rating their ability to live with their stoma now on a scale of 0 to 10, the median response was 8 (range, 0-10). The majority (83 percent) felt that the stoma restricted their life "a little" or "not at all" (a significant improvement from perceived restriction from former incontinence, P = 0.008). Satisfaction with the stoma was a median of 9 on a scale of 0 to 10 (range, 0-10). Eighty-four percent would "probably" or "definitely" choose to have the stoma again. Quality of life (SF-36) was poor, but neither depression nor anxiety was a prominent feature. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of previously incontinent people were positive about the stoma and the difference it had made to their life. However, a few had not adapted and disliked the stoma intensely. Health care professionals should discuss a stoma as an option with patients whose lives are restricted by fecal incontinence.

Sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence in patients with previous partial spinal injury including disc prolapse.
Jarrett ME, Matzel KE, Christiansen J, Baeten CG, Rosen H, Bittorf B, Stosser M, Madoff R, Kamm MA
Br J Surg 2005 Apr 18;.

BACKGROUND: This study examined the use of sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) to treat faecal incontinence in patients with partial spinal injury. METHODS: Patients selected for SNS had experienced more than one episode of faecal incontinence per week to liquid or solid stool for more than 1 year and had failed maximal conservative treatment. All patients had an intact external anal sphincter. RESULTS: Temporary SNS was performed in 13 patients (median age 58.5 (range 39-73) years). The spinal insults were disc prolapse (six), trauma (four), spinal stenosis (one) or occurred during neurosurgery (two). Twelve patients (eight women and four men) had successful temporary stimulation and proceeded to permanent implantation. The median follow-up time was 12 (range 6-24) months. The mean(s.d.) number of episodes of incontinence decreased from 9.33(7.64) per week at baseline to 2.39(3.69) at last follow-up (P = 0.012). The number of days per week with incontinence and staining decreased significantly (both P < 0.001). Ability to defer defaecation improved from a median of not being able to defer (range 0-1 min) to being able to defer for 5-15 (range 0 to over 15) min (P = 0.022). CONCLUSION: SNS can benefit patients with faecal incontinence following partial spinal injury. Copyright (c) 2005 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Secondary implantation of an artificial sphincter after abdominoperineal resection and pseudocontinent perineal colostomy for rectal cancer.
Marchal F, Doucet C, Lechaux D, Lasser P, Lehur PA
Gastroenterol Clin Biol 2005 Apr;29(4):425-8.

INTRODUCTION: Fecal continence with a perineal colostomy performed after abdominoperineal resection (APR) is not always satisfactory despite retrograde colonic enemas. Functional improvement is currently examined using artificial sphincters. Preliminary results are disclosed.PATIENTS: In 3 female patients, 45, 59 and 68 years old, curative APR and perineal colostomy were performed after radiotherapy in 2, for T1-2N0 cancer of the lower rectum. Due to occasional leaks, need for strict diet and fear of incontinence, an Acticon Neosphincter(R) (AMS) was implanted consecutively at a mean 4.5 years after APR.RESULTS: Device implantation was feasible and uneventful. In one case, a superficial hematoma was drained and healed by second intention. Devices were activated 3 months after implantation. At a mean 2.5 years follow-up, the 3 patients had an activated and functional artificial sphincter. Leaks and fecal urgency significantly decreased but colonic enemas were maintained. Dietary restrictions were less and quality of life improved. All 3 considered the device as a useful adjunct.CONCLUSION: In this limited experience, implantation of artificial sphincter around a perineal colostomy following APR for rectal cancer appeared feasible and safe even in case of previous radiotherapy. Mid-term tolerance was satisfactory. Continence and quality of life significantly improved.

Fecal Incontinence in Women: A Review of Evaluation and Management.
Novi JM, Mulvihill BH
Obstet Gynecol Surv 2005 Apr;60(4):261-269.

Fecal incontinence is a socially and psychologically distressing condition affecting a substantial number of women worldwide. It can have a major impact on the quality of life of those patients who are afflicted. Many therapeutic options exist for the treatment of fecal incontinence, but identifying affected patients remains an elusive and important first step in the evaluation process. TARGET AUDIENCE: Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians LEARNING OBJECTIVES: After completion of this article, the reader should be able to explain the mechanism of fecal incontinence, to outline the workup of a patient with fecal incontinence, and to summarize the potential treatment options for fecal incontinence.

Long-term outcomes of individualized biofeedback training based on the underlying dysfunction for patients with imperforate anus.
Zhengwei Y, Weilin W, Yuzuo B, Weisong C, Wei W
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Mar;40(3):555-61.

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to design an individualized biofeedback program based on the underlying dysfunctions and to assess the short-term and long-term clinical and quality-of-life outcomes for patients with imperforate anus. METHODS: Thirty-one patients were treated using an individualized biofeedback program according to their different dysfunctions after having completed the assessment of the anorectal function. Many special biofeedback training methods that consist of strengthening the perianal muscles biofeedback, sensory discrimination biofeedback, synchronizing external sphincter contraction biofeedback, and improving defecation dynamic biofeedback were selected to make up the individualized biofeedback training program. The clinical scores and quality-of-life scores were assessed in the short-term and long-term follow-up. RESULTS: The clinical scores and quality-of-life scores of patients before training, after biofeedback training, at short-term follow-up, and at long-term follow-up were 3.2 +/- 1.1 and 8.7 +/- 1.1, 5.2 +/- 0.6 and 11.0 +/- 0.8, 5.1 +/- 0.6 and 10.8 +/- 0.9, and 4.6 +/- 0.7 and 10.1 +/- 0.7, respectively. After biofeedback training, the strength of the perianal muscles were increased significantly, the abnormal rectal threshold sensation and defecation dynamic reverted to normal in all patients, and 82% patients who have no external anal sphincter reflex acquired the new reflex. In the short-term follow-up, 12 (57%) patients maintained the clinical outcome, and only 9 (43%) patients have regressions slightly. At long-term follow-up, 7 (33%) patients maintained the clinical outcome very well, and 14 (67%) patients had regressed. Although the clinical and quality-of-life scores have decreased slightly at follow-up, they were still significantly increased compared with those before biofeedback training. CONCLUSIONS: The individualized biofeedback is more suitable for improvement of the clinical outcome and the quality of life, and maintained a good clinical outcome and quality of life on the short-term and long-term follow-ups.

Defecographic disorders in anal incontinent women: relation to symptoms and anal endosonographic patterns.
Savoye-Collet C, Savoye G, Koning E, Dacher JN
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 Feb;40(2):141-6.

OBJECTIVE: The need for a defecography in incontinent women is still debatable. We prospectively evaluated the prevalence of defecographic abnormalities in incontinent women in order to determine whether any symptom or endosonographic findings could be associated with a particular defecographic pattern. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fifty incontinent women (aged 30-87 years) underwent defecography and anal endosonography to look for pelvic floor descent, rectocele, intussusception, enterocele and the presence of anal sphincter defects. Other symptoms, i.e. straining at stools and pelvic pressure, were recorded. RESULTS: Twenty-five cases of external sphincter defect (12 associated with an internal defect) and 4 cases of isolated internal defect were identified. Defecography identified 25 patients with perineal descent at rest, 28 with perineal descent at straining, 30 with rectocele, 30 with intussusception and 14 with enterocele. Three defecographies were normal. In the 29 women with sphincter defects, the prevalence of defecographic abnormalities did not differ from that observed in the 21 women without sphincter defects. In women complaining of straining at stools (n=26) or idiopathic pelvic pressure (n=32), the prevalence of defecographic abnormalities did not differ from that observed in women who did not have these symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of pelvic floor disorders in incontinent women was similar whether associated symptoms or anal sphincter defects were present or not. When defecography has to be performed to investigate female anal incontinence, neither clinical nor endosonographic features can predict a higher diagnostic efficiency.

Prevalence of and factors associated with fecal incontinence in a large community study of older individuals.
Quander CR, Morris MC, Melson J, Bienias JL, Evans DA
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Apr;100(4):905-9.

OBJECTIVES: In this study, we describe the prevalence of fecal incontinence by race, age, sex, the presence of major chronic conditions of stroke and diabetes, and the use of certain psychoactive medications. METHODS: Study subjects are participants in the Chicago Health and Aging Project, a study of older Chicago residents of a geographically defined area. In the period 1993-1996, interviewers conducted a door-to-door census that identified 6,099 individuals who participated in in-home interviews. The interviews included a wide range of questions regarding demographics, medical history, and medication use. The question used to determine the presence of fecal incontinence was: "In the past few months have you ever lost control of your bowels when you didn't want to?"RESULTS: Fecal incontinence was seen in 585 of 6,099 survey responders yielding an overall prevalence of 9.6%. The prevalence of fecal incontinence was strongly associated with age across all demographic groups. We did not observe significant differences in the prevalence for males and females once we adjusted for age. However, the increase in prevalence with age was significantly greater among Blacks than Whites. The use of psychoactive medications was found to be associated with significantly higher odds of fecal incontinence. Diabetes and stroke were associated with a higher prevalence of fecal incontinence. CONCLUSIONS: These cross-sectional analyses offer promising evidence that this common condition is correlated with the presence of certain conditions (e.g., stroke and diabetes) and use of certain psychoactive medications. (Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1-5).

Relationship between symptoms and disordered continence mechanisms in women with idiopathic faecal incontinence.
Bharucha AE, Fletcher JG, Harper CM, Hough D, Daube JR, Stevens C, Seide B, Riederer SJ, Zinsmeister AR
Gut 2005 Apr;54(4):546-55.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Anal sphincter weakness and rectal sensory disturbances contribute to faecal incontinence (FI). Our aims were to investigate the relationship between symptoms, risk factors, and disordered anorectal and pelvic floor functions in FI. METHODS: In 52 women with "idiopathic" FI and 21 age matched asymptomatic women, we assessed symptoms by standardised questionnaire, anal pressures by manometry, anal sphincter appearance by endoanal ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), pelvic floor motion by dynamic MRI, and rectal compliance and sensation by a barostat. RESULTS: The prevalence of anal sphincter injury (by imaging), reduced anal resting pressure (35% of FI), and reduced squeeze pressures (73% of FI) was higher in FI compared with controls. Puborectalis atrophy (by MRI) was associated (p<0.05) with FI and with impaired anorectal motion during pelvic floor contraction. Volume and pressure thresholds for the desire to defecate were lower, indicating rectal hypersensitivity, in FI. The rectal volume at maximum tolerated pressure (that is, rectal capacity) was reduced in 25% of FI; this volume was associated with the symptom of urge FI (p<0.01) and rectal hypersensitivity (p = 0.02). A combination of predictors (age, body mass index, symptoms, obstetric history, and anal sphincter appearance) explained a substantial proportion of the interindividual variation in anal squeeze pressure (45%) and rectal capacity (35%). CONCLUSIONS: Idiopathic FI in women is a multifactorial disorder resulting from one or more of the following: a disordered pelvic barrier (anal sphincters and puborectalis), or rectal capacity or sensation.

Sphincter Defects Are Not Associated With Long-Term Incontinence Following Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis.
Gearhart SL, Hull TL, Schroeder T, Church J, Floruta C
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Mar 24;.

INTRODUCTION: Frequent loose stools test the integrity of sphincter function in patients undergoing ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. The authors hypothesized that women with anal sphincter defects were more likely to experience incontinence episodes than women with intact sphincter muscles following ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. METHODS: From 1996 to 1998, 42 women with a mean age of 42 (range, 22-63) years were prospectively evaluated by anorectal manometry and endoanal ultrasound before pouch surgery. Forty women underwent a stapled ileal pouch-anal anastomosis and two underwent a handsewn anastomosis. All patients considered themselves continent of stool before the procedure. A postoperative survey including the Cleveland Clinic Florida scale, Fecal Incontinence Severity Index, and Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale was sent to study participants. RESULTS: Nineteen women with an obstetrical history had significant sphincter defects associated with significant lower mean resting pressure, mean squeeze pressure, and shorter anal canal length (3 vs. 3.7 cm, P = 0.0007). Thirty-five women (83 percent) responded resulting in a mean follow-up of 62 (range, 49-72) months. Fourteen responders (mean age, 46 years) had sphincter defects but no significant difference was found in Cleveland Clinic Florida scale, Fecal Incontinence Severity Index, or Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale scores when compared with those without defects. CONCLUSION: Although almost all women reported episodes of seepage, marked sphincter defects associated with low anal pressures and shorter anal canal length did not affect anal function following pouch surgery. This study supports the findings that continent women with significant sphincter defects on ultrasound evaluation may be considered for restorative proctocolectomy.

Sacral Neuromodulation in Treatment of Fecal Incontinence Following Anterior Resection and Chemoradiation for Rectal Cancer.
Ratto C, Grillo E, Parello A, Petrolino M, Costamagna G, Doglietto GB
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Mar 22;.

PURPOSE: Fecal incontinence may occur in patients who have undergone anterior resection for rectal cancer without presenting sphincter lesions. Chemoradiation may contribute to disrupting continence mechanisms. Treatment is controversial. Assessment of fecal incontinence in patients who agreed to integrate treatment for rectal cancer and treatment with sacral neuromodulation are reported. METHODS: Fecal incontinence following preoperative chemoradiation and anterior resection for rectal cancer was evaluated in four patients. A good response was observed during the percutaneous sacral nerve evaluation test, and so permanent implant of sacral neuromodulation system was performed. Reevaluation was performed at least two months after implant. RESULTS: After device implantation, the mean fecal incontinence scores decreased, and the mean number of incontinence episodes dropped from 12.0 to 2.5 per week (P < 0.05). Permanent implant resulted in a significant improvement in fecal continence in three patients, and incontinence was slightly reduced in the fourth. Manometric parameters agreed with clinical results: maximum and mean resting tone and the squeeze pressure were normal in three patients and reduced in one. In these same three patients, neorectal sensation parameters increased when the preoperative value was normal or below normal and decreased when the preoperative value was higher than normal, whereas in one patient in whom extremely low values were recorded all of the parameters decreased significantly. CONCLUSIONS: Fecal incontinence following anterior resection and neoadjuvant therapy should be carefully evaluated. If a suspected neurogenic pathogenesis is confirmed, sacral neuromodulation may be proposed. If the test results are positive, permanent implant is advisable. Failure of this approach does not exclude the use of other, more aggressive treatment.

Fecal incontinence after radical perineal prostatectomy: a prospective study.
Kirschner-Hermanns R, Borchers H, Reineke T, Willis S, Jakse G
Urology 2005 Feb;65(2):337-42.

OBJECTIVES: To assess, in a prospective study, the incidence of fecal incontinence after radical perineal prostatectomy. METHODS: Bowel symptoms were evaluated with questionnaires mailed to 132 patients preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively, and annually thereafter. All patients had undergone extrafascial perineal prostatectomy for Stage cT1-cT3N0M0 prostate cancer. The data of 116 patients (88%), who answered at least the preoperative and 12-month questionnaires, were analyzed. Reduced sensibility, reduced discrimination, urgency, or stool smearing were symptoms indicative of fecal incontinence. Patients with one symptom of fecal incontinence were evaluated further with a structured telephone interview. RESULTS: Daily stool smearing was reported preoperatively by 4% of the patients. Two symptoms related to fecal incontinence were present preoperatively in 6% of the patients. At 12 months postoperatively, 15 patients (13%) reported at least two symptoms of fecal incontinence. The structured telephone interview revealed that 6 of these 15 patients had symptoms of fecal incontinence that were related to the perineal prostatectomy; 9 patients had newly developed symptoms not related to surgery or symptoms due to tumor recurrence or radiotherapy. Patients with the presence of at least one symptom of fecal incontinence before surgery had an almost fourfold increased risk of developing at least two symptoms of fecal incontinence postoperatively compared with patients without any symptom of fecal incontinence. CONCLUSIONS: Significant fecal incontinence after radical extrafascial perineal prostatectomy is a rare event. The results of questionnaires should be supplemented by additional interviews to obviate wrong interpretations.

Factors predicting severe perineal trauma during childbirth: Role of forceps delivery routinely combined with mediolateral episiotomy.
Hudelist G, Gelle'n J, Singer C, Ruecklinger E, Czerwenka K, Kandolf O, Keckstein J
Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005 Mar;192(3):875-81.

Objective Anal sphincter injury and its sequelae are a recognized complication of vaginal childbirth. The aim of the present study was to identify risk factors for third- and fourth-degree perineal tears in patients undergoing either spontaneous or vaginal-assisted delivery by forceps routinely combined with mediolateral episiotomy. Study design We retrospectively reviewed 5377 vaginal deliveries based on the analysis of the obstetric database and patient records of our department during a 5-year period from 1999 to 2003. Cases and control subjects were chosen randomly and patients' records were reviewed for the following variables: maternal age, parity, gestational age, tobacco use, gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension, use of peridural anesthesia, duration of first and second stages of labor, use of mediolateral episiotomy, forceps combined with mediolateral episiotomy, induction of labor, infant head diameter, shoulder circumference, and birth weight. Results Of 5044 spontaneous vaginal deliveries 32 (0.6%) and of 333 assisted vaginal deliveries 14 (4.2%) patients sustained a perineal defect involving the external sphincter. An univariate analysis of these 46 cases and 155 randomly selected control subjects showed that low parity ( P = .003; Mann-Whitney U test), prolonged first and second stages of labor ( P = .001, P = .001), high birth weight ( P = .031), episiotomy ( P = .004; Fisher exact test), and forceps delivery ( P = .002) increased the risk for sphincter damage. In multivariate regression models, only high birth weight ( P = .004; odds ratio [OR] 1.68, 1.18-2.41, 95% confidence interval [CI]), and forceps delivery combined with mediolateral episiotomies ( P < .001; OR 5.62, 2.16-14.62, 95% CI) proved to be independent risk factors. There was a statistical significant interaction of birth weight and head circumference ( P = .012; OR 0.99, 0.98-0.99, 95% CI). Although the use of episiotomy conferred an increased risk toward a higher likelihood of severe perineal trauma, it did not reach statistical significance ( P = .06; OR 2.15, 0.97-4.76, 95% CI). Conclusions In consistence with previous reports, women who are vaginally delivered of a large infant are at a high risk for sphincter damage. Although the rate of these complications was surprisingly low in vaginally assisted childbirth, the use of forceps, even if routinely combined with mediolateral episiotomy, should be minimized whenever possible.

Use of Malone Antegrade Continence Enema in Patients With Perineal Colostomy After Rectal Resection.
Portier G, Bonhomme N, Platonoff I, Lazorthes F
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Feb 15;.

PURPOSE: Abdominoperineal resection, with iliac colostomy, remains the gold standard treatment for very low-lying rectal cancer, but it alters patients' quality of life. Alternatives to iliac colostomy need to be experimented. Antegrade enemas via a cecal access (Malone operation) obtains a colonic emptying and improves continence for incontinent patients. Continence and quality of life after abdominoperineal resection and perineal colostomy associated to a Malone antegrade continence enema were studied.METHODS: After abdominoperineal resection for cancer, 18 patients had a digestive reconstruction by perineal colostomy and Malone antegrade continence enema. Patients performed antegrade enemas every 24 to 48 hours with tap water. After six months, continence (Cleveland Clinic score) and quality of life (Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scale) were recorded.RESULTS: Morbidity was 5 percent (1 appendix necrosis). All patients could perform antegrade enemas by themselves. Mean continence score was 6.41/20 (standard error, 2.31). Fecal Incontinence Quality of Life scores were: lifestyle 3.18/4 (standard error, 0.83); coping/behavior 2.99/4 (standard error, 0.83); depression/self-perception 3.11/4 (standard error, 0.83); embarrassment 2.84/4 (standard error, 0.63).CONCLUSIONS: After abdominoperineal resection, Malone antegrade continence enema associated to perineal colostomy provided an acceptable continence. It preserved patients' body image and resulted in a satisfying quality of life. It could become an alternative to iliac colostomy in selected patients.

Outcome of Anterior Sphincter Repair for Obstetric Injury: Comparison of Early and Late Results.
Zorcolo L, Covotta L, Bartolo DC
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Mar 2;.

INTRODUCTION: Fecal incontinence is commonly caused by structural sphincter damage secondary to obstetric trauma. Anterior sphincter repair achieves reasonable early improvement rates of between 69 and 97 percent. Few series have reported long-term results. This study was designed to evaluate the long-term outcome and examine whether there are any predictive factors that could refine patient selection and predict long-term outcome. METHODS: The case records of all patients who underwent anterior sphincter repair between January 1991 and December 1999 were studied. The patients were sent a questionnaire that asked about preoperative and postoperative and current bowel function, with questions about quality of life and overall satisfaction with the outcome of the procedure. The late outcome after a mean period of 70 months from the operation was compared with the early clinical results. All the preoperative and operative variables were studied to ascertain their significance in predicting success. RESULTS: Ninety-three patients were admitted to the study. Anterior sphincter repair was successful in improving continence in 73 percent of patients. Long-term results were obtained for 62 patients. Seventy percent had objective clinical improvement based on the questionnaire, but only 55 percent considered their bowel control had improved and only 45 percent were satisfied by the operation. Urgency was the most important symptom in determining patient satisfaction; 24 of 26 patients in whom urgency had improved were happy with their outcome. None of the preoperative and operative variables predicted the outcome. CONCLUSIONS: Patients should be warned that complete continence is difficult to achieve and that symptoms tend to deteriorate with time.

Systematic review of sacral nerve stimulation for faecal incontinence and constipation (Br J Surg 2004; 91: 1559-1569).
Pescatori M
Br J Surg 2005 Mar;92(3):379.
No Abstract.

Role of internal anal sphincter damage in the causation of idiopathic faecal incontinence: A prospective study.
Petros P, Anderson J
Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 2005 Feb;45(1):77-8.

Abstract This prospective study aimed to examine the relationship between internal anal sphincter (IAS) damage and 'idiopathic' faecal incontinence (FI) in 50 consecutive patients, using endoanal ultrasound examination. The external anal sphincter (EAS) was intact on direct and ultrasonic assessment in all patients. IAS damage was defined as complete rupture or attenuation, less than 2 mm thickness in some part of the sphincter. Complete rupture was found in one patient and damage in a further 17 (total 36%). All three nulliparous patients had normal IAS and EAS. IAS damage was only minimally associated with 'idiopathic' FI, suggesting IAS per se is unlikely to be a direct cause of FI in the 'idiopathic' group of FI patients. Its role might be analogous to the periurethral striated horse-shoe shape muscle in the urethra, which is thought to act as a mucosal sealant.

The Prevalence of Encopresis in a Multicultural Population.
van der Wal MF, Benninga MA, Hirasing RA
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Mar;40(3):345-348.

BACKGROUND: Population-based studies on the prevalence of encopresis in children are scarce and generally outdated. Prevalence estimates based on clinical studies are unreliable because parents tend to be reticent to seek medical help for this problem. Professional help is necessary, however, because encopresis can lead to serious psychosocial health problems. The authors examined the prevalence of encopresis in children, the frequency of visits made to general practitioners for encopresis and the psychosocial health problems of encopretic children. METHODS: This population-based study involved 13,111 parents and their 5- to 6-year-old children and 9,780 parents and their 11- to 12-year-old children, all residents of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. RESULTS: The prevalence of encopresis was 4.1% in the 5-to-6 age group and 1.6% in the 11-to-12 age group. Encopresis was more frequent among boys and children from the very depressed areas of the city. Encopresis was less frequent among Moroccan and Turkish children. A defecation frequency of less than three per week was found in 3.8% of the 5- to 6-year-olds and 10.1% of the 11- to 12-year-olds with encopresis. Only 37.7% of the 5- to 6-year-olds and 27.4% of the 11- to 12-year-olds who had encopresis had ever been taken to see a doctor for this problem. Psychosocial problems were far more common among children with encopresis than among normal children. CONCLUSIONS: Encopresis is a common condition that is often associated with psychosocial health disorders but only a small proportion of the children with encopresis are taken to a general practitioner to discuss their problem.

Determinants of the length of episiotomy or spontaneous posterior perineal lacerations during vaginal birth.
Rizk DE, Abadir MN, Thomas LB, Abu-Zidan F
Int Urogynecol J Pelvic Floor Dysfunct 2005 Jan 20;.

The objective of this study was to measure the length of episiotomy or spontaneous posterior perineal laceration and their relationship to perineal measurements and obstetric variables. The length of the perineum and genital hiatus and vertical length of episiotomy or posterior perineal tears were measured in 114 consecutive parturients with spontaneous singleton term deliveries. Seventy-four (65%) women underwent episiotomy while 40 (35%) sustained spontaneous posterior tears. Perineal or genital hiatus length was significantly correlated to episiotomy (r=0.34, p=0.003) or laceration (r=0.37, p=0.02) length, respectively. This association was significant (p=0.001) in a generalized linear model with duration of second stage of labor (p=0.005), degree of tear (p=0), and parity (p=0). Perineal length was significantly related to maternal age (p=0.036) and weight (p=0.037) and hiatal length (p=0). Short perineum and genital hiatus, long second stage of labor, and low parity are associated with longer posterior perineal injury.

The physical properties of rectal contents have effects on anorectal continence: insights from a study into the cause of fecal spotting on orlistat.
Fox M, Schwizer W, Menne D, Stutz B, Fried M, Thumshirn M
Dis Colon Rectum 2004 Dec;47(12):2147-56.

PURPOSE: The intermittent loss of oil or stool ("spotting") is an adverse effect that occurs in patients taking orlistat; the pathophysiology is unknown. This study was designed to investigate the local effects of orlistat, free fatty acids, and the effects of the physical properties of rectal contents on anorectal function and continence. METHODS: Anorectal physiology and continence function were assessed in ten healthy patients after the application of four test enemas: 1) high-viscosity stool substitute, 2) stool substitute with free fatty acid, 3) low-viscosity oil with placebo, 4) oil with orlistat. Rectal function and capacity were assessed by barostat techniques. Anal resting pressure, squeeze pressure, and squeeze duration were assessed by manometry. A retention test was performed using the same enemas as a quantitative assessment of continence. RESULTS: Orlistat and free fatty acid had no adverse effects on anorectal function or continence. For each enema, the maximum volume retained correlated with rectal capacity (r = 0.85; P < 0.01). Continence during rectal filling was better maintained for high-viscosity stool substitute than low-viscosity oil enemas (P < 0.03). Patients able to maintain effective squeeze pressure retained more of the low-viscosity enemas than those with short squeeze duration (P < 0.01); in contrast, the volume retained of high-viscosity enemas was unaffected by anal sphincter function. CONCLUSIONS: The physical properties of rectal contents, rectal capacity, and voluntary anal sphincter function have effects on continence function in healthy patients. The occurrence of spotting may depend on both intrinsic anorectal function and the effects of orlistat on the volume and physical properties of stool.

Injectable silicone biomaterial for fecal incontinence caused by internal anal sphincter dysfunction is effective.
Tjandra JJ, Lim JF, Hiscock R, Rajendra P
Dis Colon Rectum 2004 Dec;47(12):2138-46.

PURPOSE: Fecal incontinence caused by a weak or disrupted internal anal sphincter is common but there has been no effective treatment. This prospective study evaluates the medium-term clinical effects of an injectable silicone biomaterial, PTP (Bioplastique), used to augment the internal anal sphincter. METHOD: Eighty-two patients (64 females; median age, 66 years) with severe fecal incontinence and a low anal resting pressure caused by internal anal sphincter dysfunction (defect, n = 11; intact, n = 71) were randomized to PTP injection into intersphincteric space and internal anal sphincter with (Group A, n = 42) or without (Group B, n = 40) guidance by endoanal ultrasound. Both groups were similar in terms of age, gender, past anorectal surgery, duration of follow-up (median, 6 months; range, 1-12 months), and baseline continence score. Sixty-two percent of Group A and 55 percent of Group B had prolonged pudendal nerve terminal motor latency. RESULTS: There was no significant complication. Two patients in Group A and four patients in Group B noted minor discomfort at injection sites. At one month postprocedure, endoanal ultrasound confirmed retention of silicone biomaterial without migration. In both groups, fecal continence was significantly improved by PTP implants 1 month after injection, but continued to improve significantly for up to 12 months in Group A and 6 months in Group B (P < 0.001). Improvement in fecal continence and maximum anal resting pressure was significantly greater in Group A, in whom injection was guided by endoanal ultrasound, than in Group B. At three months after injection, significantly more Group A patients than Group B patients achieved >50 percent improvement in Wexner's continence score (69 percent vs. 40 percent; P = 0.014). Ninety-three percent of Group A and 92 percent of Group B had >50 percent improvement in global quality of life scores (visual analog scale). At a median follow-up of 6 months, all domains of the fecal incontinence quality of life scale improved significantly in both groups; however, the physical function and mental health scores of Short Form-12 only improved in Group A. A prolonged pudendal nerve terminal motor latency had no effect on functional outcome in either group. CONCLUSION: Injection of silicone biomaterial provided a marked improvement in fecal continence and quality of life in patients with internal sphincter dysfunction, despite the presence of pudendal neuropathy.

German artificial sphincter system: first report of a novel and highly integrated sphincter prosthesis for therapy of major fecal incontinence.
Schrag HJ, Padilla FF, Goldschmidtboing F, Doll A, Woias P, Hopt UT
Dis Colon Rectum 2004 Dec;47(12):2215-7.

Rectal hypersensitivity worsens stool frequency, urgency, and lifestyle in patients with urge fecal incontinence.
Chan CL, Scott SM, Williams NS, Lunniss PJ
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Jan;48(1):134-40.

PURPOSE: Rectal sensory mechanisms are important in the maintenance of fecal continence. Approximately 50 percent of patients with urge incontinence have lowered rectal sensory threshold volumes (rectal hypersensitivity) on balloon distention. Rectal hypersensitivity may underlie the heightened perception of rectal filling; however, its impact on fecal urgency and incontinence is unknown. This study was designed to investigate the impact of rectal hypersensitivity in patients with urge fecal incontinence. METHODS: Prospective and retrospective audit review of all patients (n = 258) with an intact native rectum referred to a tertiary colorectal surgical center for physiologic investigation of urge fecal incontinence during a 7.5-year period. Patients with urge fecal incontinence who had undergone pelvic radiotherapy (n = 9) or rectal prolapse (n = 6) were excluded. RESULTS: A total of 108 of 243 patients (44 percent) were found to have rectal hypersensitivity. The incidence of anal sphincter dysfunction was equal (90 percent) among those with or without rectal hypersensitivity. Patients with urge fecal incontinence and rectal hypersensitivity had increased stool frequency (P < 0.0001), reported greater use of pads (P = 0.003), and lifestyle restrictions (P = 0.0007) compared with those with normal rectal sensation, but had similar frequencies of incontinent episodes. CONCLUSIONS: Urge fecal incontinence relates primarily to external anal sphincter dysfunction, but in patients with urge fecal incontinence, rectal hypersensitivity exacerbates fecal urgency, and this should be considered in the management and surgical decision in patients who present with fecal incontinence.

Secca procedure for the treatment of fecal incontinence.
Nunoo-Mensah JW
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Jan;48(1):175; author reply 175-6.

A randomized-controlled trial comparing an educational intervention alone vs education and biofeedback in the management of faecal incontinence in women.
Ilnyckyj A, Fachnie E, Tougas G
Neurogastroenterol Motil 2005 Feb;17(1):58-63.

Abstract Biofeedback (BF) training is an accepted therapy in the treatment of faecal incontinence (FI) despite a paucity of data demonstrating benefit. This study aims to determine whether BF has any specific effect above and beyond an educational intervention. Twenty-three women with regular and frequent idiopathic FI were randomized to education and pelvic exercise vs education and BF therapy. Complete data is available for 18 women. Overall, 61% of participants demonstrated a complete response. There was no difference in response rate between treatment arms. Women with FI demonstrate a good response to treatment with education and exercise and education plus BF thus questioning the specific effect of BF.

Prevalence and severity of anal incontinence in women with and without additional vaginal deliveries after a fourth-degree perineal laceration.
Sze EH
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Jan;48(1):66-9.

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence and severity of anal incontinence among women who had undergone no, one, or at least two additional vaginal deliveries after sustaining a fourth-degree sphincter tear as a nullipara. METHODS: We conducted a telephone survey to determine our subjects' anal function. The incontinence score was determined by adding the content (flatus, liquid, and solid stool = 1, 2, and 3 points, respectively) and frequency (less than weekly, weekly, and daily = 1, 2, and 3 points, respectively) points. Severe incontinence is defined as having a score of 5 or 6 points and the incontinence having a severe effect on the subject's daily activities. RESULTS: Of the 148 women interviewed, 52 had undergone zero (Group 1), 60 had had one (Group 2), and 36 had had at least two (Group 3) additional vaginal deliveries. Among the three groups, 20 of 52 (38 percent), 14 of 60 (23 percent), and 10 of 36 (28 percent), respectively, reported anal incontinence (P = 0.208). The proportion that had 1 or 2 points (8/20, 4/14, and 3/10, respectively, P = 0.75) and 3 or 4 points (10/20, 9/14, and 2/10, respectively, P = 0.097) was similar among the three groups. Two of 20 (10 percent), 1 of 14 (7 percent), and 5 of 10 (50 percent), respectively, had a score of 5 or 6 points (P = 0.012). For the three groups, 0 of 20, 0 of 14, and 4 of 10 (40 percent) reported that their incontinence had a severe effect on their daily activities (P = <0.001), and 0 of 52, 0 of 60, and 4 of 36 (11 percent) had severe incontinence (P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: The proportion that had severe incontinence was significantly higher among women who had undergone at least two additional deliveries.