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Pelvic Retention. Constipation in Coloproctology

Treatment of constipation in older adults.
Hsieh C
Am Fam Physician. 2005 Dec 1;72(11):2277-84.

Constipation is a common complaint in older adults. Although constipation is not a physiologic consequence of normal aging, decreased mobility and other comorbid medical conditions may contribute to its increased prevalence in older adults. Functional constipation is diagnosed when no secondary causes can be identified, such as a medical condition or a medicine with a side effect profile that includes constipation. Empiric treatment may be tried initially for patients with functional constipation. Management of chronic constipation includes keeping a stool diary to record the nature of the bowel movements, counseling on bowel training, increasing fluid and dietary fiber intake, and increasing physical activity. There are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription laxatives available for the treatment of constipation. Fiber and laxatives increase stool frequency and improve symptoms of constipation. If constipation is refractory to medical treatment, further diagnostic evaluation may be warranted to assess for colonic transit time and anorectal dysfunction. Alternative treatment methods such as biofeedback and surgery may be considered for these patients.

Use of pelvic ultrasound in the diagnosis of megarectum in children with constipation.
Singh SJ, Gibbons NJ, Vincent MV, Sithole J, Nwokoma NJ, Alagarswami KV
J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Dec;40(12):1941-4.

PURPOSE: It has not been possible so far to differentiate slow transit constipation from functional fecal retention because the existing medical literature lacks data on rectal dimensions for healthy children or children with chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). We, for the first time, describe the use of pelvic ultrasound (US) to achieve this. METHODS: A pelvic US was carried out on 82 children with a full or partially full bladder and with no history of bowel problems and on 95 children with CIC. The rectal crescent seen behind the bladder was measured. All children also had documentation of their age, weight, and height. RESULTS: The median age, weight, and height for the healthy children were comparable with those of the children with CIC. The median rectal crescent size in children with constipation was 3.4 cm (range, 2.10-7.0; IQR, 1.0), as compared with 2.4 cm (range, 1.3-4.2; IQR, 0.72) in the healthy children, and this difference is statistically significant on multiple regressions of log for rectal diameter, adjusted for height, weight, and age (P value< .001). CONCLUSION: Pelvic US is a quick child-friendly investigation, which can be used to document the presence of megarectum. It should be the first line investigation for all the children with CIC.

The antegrade continence enema successfully treats idiopathic slow-transit constipation.
King SK, Sutcliffe JR, Southwell BR, Chait PG, Hutson JM
J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Dec;40(12):1935-40.

BACKGROUND: Antegrade continence enemas (ACEs) are successful for constipation and/or fecal incontinence caused by anorectal malformations or spina bifida but have been thought to be less successful in the treatment for patients with colonic dysmotility. We studied the long-term efficacy of ACE in a large group of patients with idiopathic slow-transit constipation (STC). METHODS: We identified 56 children with an appendicostomy for ACE with radiologically proven STC. An independent investigator (SKK) performed confidential telephone interviews. RESULTS: We assessed 42 of 56 children (31 boys) of mean age 13.1 years (range, 6.9-25). Mean follow-up was at 48 months (range, 3-118). Mean symptom duration before appendicostomy was 7.5 years (range, 1.4-17.4). Indications for appendicostomy were soiling (29/42), inadequate stool evacuation (7/42), and recurrent hospital admissions for nasogastric washouts (6/42). Both quality of life (Templeton quality of life [P < .0001]) and continence (modified Holschneider continence score [P < .0001]) improved with ACE. Soiling frequency decreased in 32 of 42 (11/32 completely continent). Thirty-seven of 42 children had reduced abdominal pain severity (P < .0001) and frequency (P < .0001). Complications included granulation tissue (33/42), stomal infection (18/42), and washout leakage (16/42). Fifteen of 42 children ceased using the appendicostomy (7/15 symptoms resolved). Thirty-five of 42 families felt that their aspirations had been met. CONCLUSIONS: Antegrade continence enemas were successful in 34 (81%) of 42 children with STC, contradicting views that ACEs are less effective in patients with colonic dysmotility.

Effect of tegaserod on gut transit in male and female subjects.
Degen L, Petrig C, Studer D, Schroller S, Beglinger C
Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2005 Dec;17(6):821-6.

Tegaserod is a novel selective serotonin receptor type-4 (5-HT(4)) partial agonist that stimulates gastrointestinal (GI) motility. Tegaserod has proven efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome with constipation in women and in men and women with chronic idiopathic constipation. The effects on gastric emptying, small bowel transit and colonic transit have not been studied in detail in male and female subjects. This study aimed therefore to assess the effect of gender on GI transit with and without tegaserod. A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study was performed in 40 healthy subjects (23 males, 17 females). Each treatment period involved three and a half days of bid treatment with either 6 mg tegaserod or an identical placebo. Transit parameters were assessed by a scintigraphy. Tegaserod significantly accelerated gastric emptying, small bowel and colonic transit times (P<0.05-0.0001). The effect was more apparent in male subjects than in females (P=0.044 to P<0.0001). The most striking prokinetic effects were observed in the upper GI tract (stomach and small intestine). In both healthy male and female subjects, tegaserod markedly accelerated small intestinal transit, and induced a significant increase in gastric emptying time and colonic transit. The results imply that tegaserod is a potent prokinetic agent throughout the GI in both sexes.

Tegaserod for chronic constipation.
Brown SR
J Fam Pract. 2005 Dec;54(12):1060, 1063.

Intestinal obstruction due to rectal endometriosis.
Paksoy M, Karabicak I, Ayan F, Aydogan F
Mt Sinai J Med. 2005 Nov;72(6):405-8.

We report a case of a premenopausal woman with severe constipation causing intermittent obstruction. Colonoscopy revealed a tight rectal stricture; however, mucosal biopsies were normal. Exploratory surgery revealed an intense fibrotic reaction involving the rectum and uterus, necessitating a simultaneous low anterior resection and hysterectomy. Pathology established a diagnosis of endometriosis. Preoperative diagnosis of rectal endometriosis can be difficult to establish. Endometrial deposits do not invade the mucosa; therefore, colonoscopy with biopsies are frequently non-diagnostic. Surgery may be the only definitive way to obtain a certain diagnosis. In cases involving rectal strictures of unknown etiology in premenopausal women, rectal endometriosis must be included in the differential diagnosis.

Food intolerance and chronic constipation: manometry and histology study.
Iacono G, Bonventre S, Scalici C, Maresi E, Prima LD, Soresi M, Gesu GD, Noto D, Carroccio A
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Feb;18(2):143-150.

BACKGROUND: Chronic constipation in children can be caused by cows' milk intolerance (CMI), but its pathogenesis is unknown. AIMS: To evaluate the histology and manometry pattern in patients with food intolerance-related constipation. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Thirty-six consecutive children with chronic constipation were enrolled. All underwent an elimination diet and successive double-blind food challenge. All underwent rectal biopsy and anorectal manometry. RESULTS: A total of 14 patients were found to be suffering from CMI and three from multiple food intolerance. They had a normal stool frequency on elimination diet, whereas constipation recurred on food challenge. The patients with food intolerance showed a significantly higher frequency of erosions of the mucosa, and the number of intra-epithelial lymphocytes and eosinophils. The rectal mucous gel layer showed that the food-intolerant patients had a significantly lower thickness of mucus than the other subjects studied. Manometry showed a higher anal sphincter resting pressure and a lower critical volume in food intolerance patients than in the others suffering from constipation unrelated to food intolerance. Both histology and manometry abnormalities disappeared on the elimination diet. CONCLUSIONS: Food intolerance-related constipation is characterized by proctitis. Increased anal resting pressure and a reduced mucous gel layer can be considered to be contributory factors in the pathogenesis of constipation.

Food allergy and constipation in childhood: how functional is it?
Scaillon M, Cadranel S
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Feb;18(2):125-128.

An increasing incidence of food allergy, especially to cow's milk proteins, is observed in children living in the industrialized regions of the world. In some cases responding to an eviction diet excluding offending foods, the 'functional' constipation can be caused by inflammation of the intestinal wall infiltrated by eosinophils. Understanding the complex mechanisms involved could help to improve the management of idiopathic functional constipation in children by addressing the aetiology instead of treating the symptoms.

Functional Constipation in Infants: A Follow-Up Study.
van den Berg MM, van Rossum CH, de Lorijn F, Reitsma JB, Di Lorenzo C, Benninga MA
J Pediatr 2005 Nov;147(5):700-704.

Our objective of this study was to describe the clinical course of severe functional constipation in early childhood. Eligible patients were 47 children (60% boys; median age, 3.5 months) who had constipation in their first year of life. Follow-up data were obtained through a standardized questionnaire. Success was defined as a period of at least 4 weeks with >/=3 painless bowel movements per week. Six months after initial evaluation, 69% of the children were recovered. After initial success, a relapse occurred in 15% of the children within 3 years. A duration of symptoms <3 months before referral correlated significantly with better outcome. We conclude that most infants with severe constipation evaluated at a tertiary center are recovered after 6 months. Early therapeutic intervention may beneficially contribute to the resolution of constipation.

Laparoscopic subtotal colectomy with cecorectal anastomosis for slow-transit constipation.
Iannelli A, Fabiani P, Mouiel J, Gugenheim J
Surg Endosc 2005 Nov 24;.

Subtotal colectomy with cecorectal anastomosis represents an interesting alternative to total colectomy with ileorectal anastomosis. Several technical variants to the methods for performing the anastomosis between the cecum and the rectal stump after subtotal colectomy have been reported. The mechanical, antiperistaltic, end-to-end cecorectal anastomosis is safe and easy to perform. The authors aimed to assess the safety and feasibility of this technique performed laparoscopically in a series of four patients. All the procedures were completed laparoscopically. The mean time for surgery was 200 min (range, 180-220 min). There was no mortality and no postoperative complications. The mean hospital stay was 4 days (range, 3-5 days). This technique can be performed laparoscopically with all the advantages inherent to the minimally invasive approach.

Explaining Change Over Time in Quality of Life of Adult Patients With Anorectal Malformations or Hirschsprung's Disease.
Hartman EE, Oort FJ, Visser MR, Sprangers MA, Hanneman MJ, de Langen ZJ, van Heurn LW, Rieu PN, Madern GC, van der Zee DC, Looyaard N, van Silfhout-Bezemer M, Aronson DC
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Nov 23;.

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to examine changes in the quality of life of adult patients with anorectal malformations or Hirschsprung's disease over a three-year interval and to identify demographic, clinical, and psychosocial variables that explain possible quality-of-life changes. Understanding the factors that affect changes in quality of life over time is particularly important to provide adequate care. METHODS: Questionnaires were administered to 261 patients (77 percent), with a three-year interval. Background characteristics, including demographic and clinical variables, and psychosocial variables (i.e., self-esteem, mastery, social support, disease cognition) were measured on one occasion. Generic and disease-specific quality of life were measured twice. RESULTS: On average patients indicated no change in quality-of-life level after three years. However, variance in the change scores revealed individual variation, indicating the presence of patients who improved and patients who deteriorated. Patients who were female, older, have other congenital diseases, or a stoma reported poorer quality of life over time. The psychosocial variable "disease cognition" most strongly affected the change in quality of life of patients with anorectal malformations or Hirschsprung's disease. CONCLUSIONS: Our results could alert clinicians to patients who are at risk for quality-of-life deterioration and might therefore be in need for extra care. Our findings illustrate the importance of psychosocial functioning for enhancing the quality of life over time of these patients.

Slow transit colon constipation is not related to the number of interstitial cells of Cajal.
Toman J, Turina M, Ray M, Petras RE, Stromberg AJ, Galandiuk S
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Oct 18;:1-6.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Recent studies have demonstrated decreased numbers of interstitial cells of Cajal in patients suffering from severe chronic constipation as measured by c-Kit (CD117) and CD34 immunohistology. In this study, we wished to determine whether there were abnormalities in the number of neurons of the Auerbach's plexus, their CD117 and CD34 immunoreactivity, or the thickness of colon wall sections in patients with refractory slow transit colonic constipation as compared with control subjects. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Specimens from 13 patients who had undergone subtotal colectomy for severe chronic constipation refractory to medical treatment were compared with normal controls. Enteric neurons of Auerbach's plexus were counted, and thickness of the circular and longitudinal layer of the muscularis externa as well as total muscularis externa was measured. Quantitative assessment of anti-CD117 and anti-CD34 immunoreactivity was performed using an Automated Cellular Imaging System and expressed as fractional scores. RESULTS: Except for a decreased circular muscle layer thickness in the constipated patients, no statistically significant differences were observed between the two groups. In particular, there was no relationship between CD117/CD34 fractional staining score and the duration or severity of disease, despite the selection of highly symptomatic individuals requiring colonic resection. CONCLUSION: Using quantitative immunohistochemistry for CD117/CD34, we could not detect a relationship between fractional CD117/CD34 staining score and chronic constipation as compared to controls.

Double-blind randomized evaluation of clinical and biological tolerance of polyethylene glycol 4000 versus lactulose in constipated children.
Dupont C, Leluyer B, Maamri N, Morali A, Joye JP, Fiorini JM, Abdelatif A, Baranes C, Benoit S, Benssoussan A, Boussioux JL, Boyer P, Brunet E, Delorme J, Francois-Cecchin S, Gottrand F, Grassart M, Hadji S, Kalidjian A, Languepin J, Leissler C, Lejay D,
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Nov;41(5):625-33.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the safety of a polyethylene glycol (PEG) 4000 laxative without additional salts in pediatric patients. STUDY DESIGN: This was a 3-month multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, lactulose-controlled, parallel study enrolling 96 ambulatory constipated children aged 6 months to 3 years, treated daily with 4-8 g PEG or 3.33 g-6.66 g lactulose. Total protein, albumin, iron, electrolytes, and vitamins B9 (folates), A and D (25OHD3) were measured in blood before and after treatment (day 84) in a central laboratory. RESULTS: The percentage of children with at least one value out of normal range at day 84 with respect to baseline status (with or without at least one value out of normal range), i.e. the primary endpoint, was 87% and 90% in the PEG and lactulose groups, respectively, without any difference between groups. The whole blood parameters showed no qualitative or quantitative treatment-related changes. Vitamin A values were above normal range in 56% and 41% of children at baseline versus 33% and 36% at day 84 in the PEG and lactulose groups, respectively. Iron values were similarly under normal range in 47% and 51% at baseline versus 42% and 51% at day 84. Clinical tolerance was similar for both treatments except for vomiting and flatulence, which were significantly higher with lactulose. Significantly higher improvements were evidenced with PEG regarding stool consistency, appetite, fecaloma and use of additional laxatives. CONCLUSION: This 3-month study in 96 constipated children aged 6 months to 3 years confirms the long-term tolerance of PEG 4000 in pediatrics and indicates a PEG efficacy similar to or greater than that of lactulose.

Tapered terminal ileum conduit for antegrade continence enemas.
Surfield GA, Andrews DA
Pediatr Surg Int 2005 Nov 3;:1-2.

Antegrade continence enemas can be used to control fecal incontinence caused by neurogenic bowel. Creating a conduit can become a problem when the appendix is unsuitable for use. This paper describes a procedure using a tapered terminal ileum conduit for use with antegrade continence enemas in place of the appendix. This procedure has been attempted and successfully completed on two pediatric patients with good results at 6-month follow-up. The tapered terminal ileum conduit is an option for creating a conduit for antegrade continence enemas in patients without a suitable appendix.

Constipation and toileting issues in children.
Hocking GD
Med J Aust 2005 Oct 3;183(7):391-392.

Unhydrolyzed and hydrolyzed konjac glucomannans modulated cecal and fecal microflora in Balb/c mice.
Chen HL, Fan YH, Chen ME, Chan Y
Nutrition 2005 Oct;21(10):1059-64.

OBJECTIVE: The prebiotic role of intact konjac glucomannan (KGM) is contradictory. Short-chain glucomannan may cause a greater or faster effect on colonic microflora compared with KGM. Therefore, time-course and dose-dependent studies were conducted to examine and compare effects of unhydrolyzed KGM with those of acid-hydrolyzed glucomannan (KH) on cecal and fecal microflora. Short-chain fatty acid concentrations in cecal content were also determined. METHODS: Seven-week-old male Balb/c mice were fed 5% (w/w) cellulose and KGM or KH diets for 2 or 4 wk in a time-course study. Cecal total anaerobes, bifidobacteria, Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli counts, and short-chain fatty acid concentrations were determined. In a subsequent dose-dependent study, Balb/c mice were fed AIN-93 fiber-free diets supplemented with 2.5%, 5%, or 7.5% of KGM or KH for 4 wk. Anaerobes, bifidobacteria, C. perfringens, and E. coli were enumerated in the cecal content and feces. RESULTS: KGM and KH significantly increased cecal anaerobes and bifidobacteria counts at weeks 2 and 4, respectively, compared with cellulose. In contrast, KGM and KH significantly decreased cecal C. perfringens counts only at week 4. Acetate and propionate concentrations in cecal contents were increased by KGM and KH diets at weeks 2 and 4, respectively. In the dose-dependent study, KH increased cecal bifidobacteria counts only at the 2.5% level but increased fecal bifidobacteria count and suppressed C. perfringens counts at each dose level as compared with KGM. CONCLUSION: Hydrolyzed glucomannan exerts a greater prebiotic effect than does KGM in Balb/c mice.

Effects of long-term treatment with oxytocin in chronic constipation; a double blind, placebo-controlled pilot trial.
Ohlsson B, Truedsson M, Bengtsson M, Torstenson R, Sjolund K, Bjornsson ES, Simren M
Neurogastroenterol Motil 2005 Oct;17(5):697-704.

Background: Oxytocin and its receptor have been found throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, where it affects gut function. Clinically, we have noticed an improvement of bowel habits during lactation in constipated women. The aim of this study was to examine whether oxytocin has an effect on bowel symptoms and psychological well being in women with refractory constipation. Methods: Fifty-nine women with refractory constipation were included in a double blind, multicentre study. After a 2-week run-in period, they were randomly allocated to nasal inhalation of either placebo or oxytocin treatment twice daily for 13 weeks, followed by a 2 weeks, posttreatment period. The patients completed a questionnaire every day concerning bowel habits, abdominal pain and discomfort, and Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale (GSRS) and Psychological General Well-being (PGWB) twice during the study; namely, during the baseline period and at the end of the treatment period. Results: Both oxytocin and placebo led to improvement of the constipation according to the GSRS and led to improvement in the sensation of incomplete evacuation and anorectal obstruction, without significant differences between the groups. Abdominal pain and discomfort responded weakly to oxytocin, with no effect of the placebo. In a subgroup of patients with IBS and concomitant depression, a weak improvement in depressed mood was observed after oxytocin administartion. Conclusion: Nasal administration of oxytocin had no significant advantage over placebo concerning an effect on constipation. However, it seems to have a positive effect on abdominal pain and discomfort and depressed mood. These findings should be further explored.

Perforation of malone antegrade continence enema: diagnosis and management.

Defoor W, Minevich E, Reddy P, Barqawi A, Kitchens D, Sheldon C, Koyle M
J Urol 2005 Oct;174(4, Part 2 of 2):1644-1646.

PURPOSE: Severe bowel dysfunction often accompanies neurogenic bladder, and Malone antegrade continence enema (MACE) procedures can lead to improvement in the quality of life of these patients. However, complications such as catheter false passage with subsequent intraperitoneal instillation of irrigation can lead to significant morbidity. We present our experience with the diagnosis and management of this condition. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The records of all patients undergoing MACE procedures at pediatric institutions from 1989 to 2002 were retrospectively reviewed. The records of patients diagnosed with a perforation were assessed for presentation, initial imaging studies, management and outcomes. RESULTS: Of 187 consecutive patients treated with MACE procedures we identified 6 females and 1 male (3.7%). Mean patient age at initial surgery was 11.3 years. Of the 7 patients presented within 3 months of the initial surgery, 6 presented with abdominal pain after irrigation and 4 reported traumatic catheterization. Six patients had extravasation of contrast material on imaging studies. Two patients presented with peritonitis and underwent immediate laparotomy. In 5 patients endoscopy was performed with catheter placement which was then maintained for 6 weeks. After a mean followup of 4.7 years 4 patients have complete continence, 2 have a MACE button in place and 1 has mild fecal leakage. CONCLUSIONS: MACE procedures have a low incidence of conduit false passage and perforation. Prompt diagnosis and early intervention are crucial to management. Endoscopic evaluation with catheter placement can be helpful in preserving continence and decreasing morbidity.

Evaluation of the Paradoxical Sphincter Contraction by a Strain/Squeeze Index in Constipated Patients.
Karlbom U, Eeg-Olofsson KE, Graf W, Pahlman L
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Aug 1;.

PURPOSE: One finding in patients with constipation is the paradoxical puborectalis contraction, i.e. , activation of the sphincter muscles during straining instead of relaxation. The aims of this study were to evaluate the importance of needle placement in sphincter-electromyography and to evaluate a strain/squeeze index in constipated patients and control subjects. METHODS: We investigated consecutively 194 constipated patients and 16 control subjects with integrated electromyography during straining and squeezing and calculated a strain/squeeze index. The examination was performed in the puborectalis and in the external anal sphincter muscle through hook-electrodes. RESULTS: There was a strong correlation between indices in the puborectalis muscle and in the external anal sphincter muscle (r = 0.70-0.80, P < 0.001). Forty-seven patients (24 percent) had a mean index of greater than 50 compared with none in the control group (P = 0.01). Mean overall index in patients was 24 (range, 0-306) vs. 18 (range, 0-45) in controls (P = 0.12). Patients with an index greater than 50 had impaired rectal evacuation (P < 0.001), increased threshold for urge (P < 0.05), and tended to have fewer stools (P = 0.06). CONCLUSION: Quantification of paradoxical contraction in the puborectalis and external anal sphincter with a strain/squeeze index differentiates patients in whom paradoxical activity may be a cause of constipation. An index above 50 may be of pathologic significance. Correlations between activity in the puborectalis and external anal sphincter muscle were strong which suggests that investigation in one of them is sufficient.

Role of anorectal myectomy in the treatment of short segment Hirschsprung's disease in young adults.
Kaymakcioglu N, Yagci G, Can MF, Demiriz M, Peker Y, Akdeniz A
Int Surg 2005 Apr-Jun;90(2):109-12.

Basic pathological disorder in Hirschsprung's disease (HD) comes into being by the abnormal innervations of the aganglionic distal intestine. The nonserious forms of this congenital disease may reach the young by proceeding with chronic, obstinate constipation that does not respond to diet. Myectomy of the short segment of aganglionic part may provide diagnostic and therapeutic value. Between 1993 and 2003, anorectal posterior myectomy was performed in 19 patients diagnosed with HD. The mean age of patients was 23 years. Previous or concomitant anterior resection was added to the procedure in seven cases due to dolicomegacolon. In addition to the deficiency of anorectal inhibitor reflex (ARIR) among all patients, the frequency of defecation was 12.5 days (range, 6-30 days) before operation. Anorectal length before widening was an average of 5.5 cm (range, 2-8 cm). All pathologic specimens were found to be aganglionic. Postoperatively, the mean of first regular defecation interval was 1.5 days (range, 1-3 days). Involution of rectum was evaluated with a rectal examination and barium enema X-rays during follow-up. ARIR of patients also returned to normal. In conclusion, anorectal posterior myectomy is an effective operation in diagnosis and treatment of short-segment HD. Furthermore, colon resection annexed to this operation, in the condition of dolicomegacolon, is also used to remove obstinate constipation.

Surgery and Constipation: When, How, Yes, or No?
Levitt MA, Pena A
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Sep;41 Suppl 1:S58-S60.

New Treatment Options in Childhood Constipation?
Benninga MA, Candy DC, Taminiau JA
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Sep;41 Suppl 1:S56-S57.

ASGE guideline: Guideline on the use of endoscopy in the management of constipation.
Qureshi W, Adler DG, Davila RE, Egan J, Hirota WK, Jacobson BC, Leighton JA, Rajan E, Zuckerman MJ, Fanelli R, Wheeler-Harbaugh J, Baron TH, Faigel DO
Gastrointest Endosc 2005 Aug;62(2):199-201.

How should we evaluate and treat constipation in infants and children?
Holten KB
J Fam Pract 2005 Aug;54(8):706-7.

What are the indications for laboratory studies and imaging? What dietary adjustments are most effective? What medications are helpful? When can enemas be used? How effective is behavior modification? These questions are answered in the recommendations derived from a guideline developed and funded by the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. The target populations are infants and children with constipation who have no preexisting medical diagnosis. The evidence categories for this guideline are diagnosis, evaluation, management, and treatment. Outcomes considered are 1) sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests; 2) rate of symptomatic relief; 3) prevention and control of symptoms; 4) medication and treatment side effects; 5) quality of life; and 6) bowel movement frequency. Recommendations were grouped by patient age: infants (age less than 1 year), children (age 1 year and older), and in general for all ages. Functional constipation was defined as fecal retention, unrelated to a medical or anatomic abnormality. Potential benefits and harms of implementing the guidelines were considered in the development. The rating scheme is updated to comply with the SORT taxonomy.

Management of chronic constipation: Recommendations from a consensus panel.
Bleser S, Brunton S, Carmichael B, Olden K, Rasch R, Steege J
J Fam Pract 2005 Aug;54(8):691-8.

Chronic constipation results in more than 2.5 million visits to physicians and almost 100,000 hospitalizations in the United States annually. While patients are most concerned about symptoms such as straining, unproductive urges, a sense of incomplete evacuation, excessive time spent on the toilet, abdominal discomfort, and bloating, physicians focus on the frequency of bowel movements. Patients frequently self-medicate for chronic constipation and spend an estimated $800 million on laxatives annually. More important, chronic constipation has a significant adverse impact on patients' health-related quality of life. In this publication, a panel of experts examine the characterization of chronic constipation, provide guidelines for diagnosis in the primary care setting, and assess the benefits and risks of management options.

Development and validation of the Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life questionnaire.
Marquis P, De La Loge C, Dubois D, McDermott A, Chassany O
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 May;40(5):540-51.

OBJECTIVE: Chronic constipation is characterized by difficult, infrequent, or seemingly incomplete bowel movements. The Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life (PAC-QOL) questionnaire was developed to address the need for a standardized, patient-reported outcomes measure to evaluate constipation over time. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Items for the PAC-QOL were generated from the literature, clinical experts, and patients. Following principal components and multi-trait analyses, 28 items were retained forming four subscales (worries and concerns, physical discomfort, psychosocial discomfort, and satisfaction) and an overall scale. Validation studies were conducted in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia, to evaluate the internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha), reproducibility (Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICCs)), validity (analysis of variance models), and responsiveness (effect size) of the PAC-QOL scales. RESULTS: The PAC-QOL scales were internally consistent (Cronbach's alpha >0.80) and reproducible (ICCs >0.70, except for the satisfaction subscale ICC=0.66). PAC-QOL scale scores were significantly associated with abdominal pain (p<0.001) and constipation severity (p<0.05). Effect sizes in patients reporting improvements in constipation over a 6-week period were moderate to large, with subscale effect sizes ranging from 0.76 to 3.41 and the overall scale effect size=1.77. Similar findings were observed in validation studies conducted in Europe, Canada, and Australia. CONCLUSIONS: The PAC-QOL is a brief but comprehensive assessment of the burden of constipation on patients' everyday functioning and well-being. Multinational studies demonstrate that the PAC-QOL is internally consistent, reproducible, valid, and responsive to improvements over time.

Effects of regular physical activity on defecation pattern in middle-aged patients complaining of chronic constipation.
De Schryver AM, Keulemans YC, Peters HP, Akkermans LM, Smout AJ, De Vries WR, van Berge-Henegouwen GP
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 Apr;40(4):422-9.

OBJECTIVE: It is not well known whether physical activity (PA) is useful in the management of patients complaining of constipation. The aim of this study was to test the influence of regular PA on colonic transit time and defecation in middle-aged inactive patients suffering from chronic idiopathic constipation. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty-three subjects (> 45 years) were randomly divided into group A (n = 18, 16 F, 2 M) and group B (n = 25, 20 F, 5 M). Group A subjects maintained their normal lifestyle during 12 weeks, followed by a 12-week PA programme. Group B performed a 12-week PA programme after randomization. PA comprised 30 min of brisk walking and a daily 11-min home-based programme. Both groups received dietary advice. Colonic transit time was measured using a radiographic multiple marker single film technique. RESULTS: Despite dietary advice, mean fibre and fluid intake did not change. In group B a significant reduction in 3 out of 4 of the Rome I criteria for constipation was observed, i.e. percentage of incomplete defecations, percentage of defecations requiring straining and percentage of hard stools (p < 0.05). As a consequence, the number of fulfilled Rome criteria for constipation decreased (2.7 to 1.7; p < 0.05). Furthermore, the rectosigmoid and total colonic transit time decreased (17.5 to 9.6 h and 79.2 to 58.4 h, respectively; p < 0.05). After PA the number of fulfilled Rome criteria also decreased in group A (2.6 to 1.7; p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In middle-aged inactive subjects with symptoms of chronic constipation, it is advisable to promote regular physical activity since it improves both the defecation pattern and rectosigmoid or total colonic transit time.

Clinical outcome in children after transanal 1-stage endorectal pull-through operation for Hirschsprung disease.
Zhang SC, Bai YZ, Wang W, Wang WL
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Aug;40(8):1307-11.

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Recently, the transanal 1-stage pull-through operation has been widely used in Hirschsprung disease (HD), and it is obviously superior to traditional approach in early term for its noninversion. However, the procedure is relatively so new that it makes assessment of the functional outcome and stooling patterns difficult. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of the transanal 1-stage endorectal pull-through operation in the management of rectosigmoid HD. METHODS: Fifty-eight children (39 boys and 19 girls) aged 12 months to 13 years (mean, 2 years) who underwent transanal 1-stage endorectal pull-through operation for HD were followed up from 6 to 24 months. Clinical outcome was assessed by interviews and questionnaires. All patients had an aganglionic segment confined to the rectosigmoid area which was confirmed by the preoperative barium enema and postoperative pathological examination. RESULTS: Forty-six patients had satisfactory results without complications. In all the children, the mean stool times were 1 to 2 per day; only 4 had mean stool times of 8 to 10 per day. Postoperative soiling was present in 9, constipation in 5, and HD-associated enterocolitis in 3. There were no incontinence, cuff infection, anastomotic leak, and mortality in any of the patients. In the 12 symptomatic patients, there were 4 children with length of aganglionic segment less than 30 cm, and 8 had 30 cm or more. In the 46 asymptomatic patients, 42 had length of aganglionic segment less than 30 cm, and 4 had 30 cm or more. There was a significant difference between the group with less than 30 cm and the group with 30 cm or more of aganglionic segment. For statistical analysis, the Fisher exact test showed P < .05. CONCLUSIONS: The transanal 1-stage endorectal pull-through is a feasible and safe procedure in children with rectosigmoid HD. The clinical outcome is satisfactory. A gradual recovery could be noted in the stooling patterns along with the time after surgery. The younger the patient operated on and the shorter the aganglionic segment, the lower do the stooling disorders occur and the faster does the stooling function recover.

Diagnosis and therapy of ultrashort Hischsprung's disease.
Angerpointner TA
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Jul;40(7):1217.

Although ultrashort Hirschsprung's disease (UHD) was enzyme-histochemically characterised about 35 years ago, its existence is still often ignored. The aim of this study was to summarize diagnostic criteria, incidence, gender ratio, morphology and therapy over 15 years. Reliable diagnosis of suspected UHD requires contrast enema to exclude HD. In UHD, no reflux of contrast medium is observed during pressing or crying. Final proof of UHD is enzyme-histochemical biopsy examination of distal rectal mucosa. The biopsies must be taken from the dentate line and 1, 2, 4 and 6 cm above the dentate line and then subjected to an enzyme-histochemical acetylcholinesterase (AChE) reaction of native sections of rectal mucosa. UHD develops with first symptoms of therapy resistant chronic constipation during the second half of the first year of life. In contrast, constipation occurs in the first weeks of life or after weaning in HD. Also in contrast to HD, no nerve fibers with increased AChE activity are observed in the lamina propria mucosae in UHD. Nets of nerve fibers with increased AChE activity can be found only in the muscularis mucosae and the musculus corrugator cutis ani (MCCA). Therapy of choice has proven to be partial myectomy of the distal internal sphincter if dilatation of the internal sphincter is ineffective. UHD is either limited to the anal ring, or extends only 3-4 cm into the distal rectum. UHD had an incidence of 13.4% of all aganglionoses in the series presented. Gender ratio boys to girls was 2:1.

Paediatric constipation for adult surgeons-article 1: Targeting the cause.
Angerpointner TA
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Jul;40(7):1217.

The authors review the potential implications for adult general and colorectal surgeons of recent advances in the diagnosis and management of constipation in childhood. The authors cite data highlighting the high incidence and prevalence of constipation in both children and adults, and how constipation in childhood commonly persists or recurs in adult life. The authors argue that constipation should be regarded as a "collection of symptoms" rather than a diagnosis. Through the use of manometry and colonic transit studies, they suggest that patients may be grouped into those that are constipated as a result of slow colonic transit and those due to ano-rectal disorders, collectively termed functional faecal retention (FFR). FFR may occur as a result of anatomical problems, such as an anal fissure, or non-anatomical problems that include endocrine, metabolic, and neurological disorders. Once an anatomical problem has been excluded, The authors suggest that patients presenting with constipation should be investigated to determine the site of the problem, using both radio-opaque marker studies to determine the transit time and colonic manometry to assess pressure abnormalities. In the authors' experience, 50% of children with chronic constipation will have delayed transit times, indicating slow transit constipation (STC), with failure of markers to progress to the rectosigmoid within 48 hours. Paediatric STC seems to differ from adults with the same condition, in that adult STC is far more common in women, the stools are firm.

Thickening of the internal anal sphincter in idiopathic constipation in children.
Schmittenbecher P
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Jul;40(7):1217.

Thickening of the internal anal sphincter (IAS) is observed in chronic idiopathic constipation. This may be a feature of the obstructed megarectum in a similar way to the hypertrophy of bladder neck and detrusor muscle seen in dyssynergic bladders. It was the aim of the study to investigate the significance of thickening of the IAS in children with chronic constipation and to look for any association with anorectal manometry findings. The prospective study included 144 consecutive children treated within two years. Constipation was defined as stool frequency of less than three times a week, passage of large stool amounts at least once every month with palpable abdominal or rectal mass, and two or more soiling/encopresis episodes per week. All children were investigated by a intestinal transit study, anorectal manometry and endosonography. IAS thickness was measured at the mid-anal canal at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions, and the mean value was used for analysis. Symptom severity was measured using a parents questionnaire symptom score, composed of scores for delay in defecation, pain with passing stool, soiling, intensity of laxative treatment, child's general health, behaviour related to the bowel problem, improvement of symptoms and assessment of megarectum on abdominal palpation. Eighty-four boys and 60 girls with a median age of 8.1 years were included. The transit study showed delayed transit mainly in the rectosigmoid region. Soiling was found in 94%, delay in defecation in 91% and a palpable megarectum in 80%. Main duration of symptoms and treatment were 4 years and 3.3 years. The mean severity score was 33 (65 as maximum). Mean IAS thickness was 0.9 mm (0.3-2.8 mm), resting anal sphincter pressure was 54 mmHg (19-107 mmHg), median amplitude of rectal contraction 3 mmHg (1-25 mmHg), and the size of rectum was calculated with 260 ml (60-823 ml). IAS thickness was correlated significantly with the severity score, the size of the megarectum, the rectal contraction and the age of the patient. It is speculative whether these findings are the primary cause or the secondary effect of constipation and faecal impaction. However, if the thickened sphincter was a primary cause of constipation, it should have been seen in young children to the same degree as in older patients. Children with a longer history of constipation had a larger megarectum and thicker IAS suggesting sphincter thickness as a secondary phenomenon. The activity in the rectum in response to the retained faecal mass is the driving stimulus for the exaggerated response of anal sphincter contraction with hypertrophic changes.

Colonic manometry via appendicostomy shows reduced frequency, amplitude, and length of propagating sequences in children with slow-transit constipation.
Stanton MP, Hutson JM, Simpson D, Oliver MR, Southwell BR, Dinning P, Cook I, Catto-Smith AG
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Jul;40(7):1138-45.

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: We wish to define colonic motor function in children with slow-transit constipation (STC) using manometry catheters introduced through appendiceal stomas, previously sited for controlling fecal retention by colonic irrigation. METHODS: We undertook 24-hour pancolonic manometry of 6 children (5 boys; mean, 11.5 years; SD, 3.0) using a multilumen silastic catheter. RESULTS: were compared to nasocolonic motility studies obtained in healthy young adults. RESULTS: Antegrade propagating sequences (APSs) originated less frequently in the cecum compared to controls. There were fewer APS (mean +/- SEM: STC, 13 +/- 6 per 24 hours; controls, 52 +/- 6 per 24 hours; P < .01) and high-amplitude propagating contractions (HAPCs: STC, 5 +/- 2 per 24 hours; controls, 9.9 +/- 1.4 per 24 hours; P < .05). The amplitude of APS and HAPC was less in STC (APS, 39 +/- 9 mm Hg; controls, 54 +/- 3 per 24 hours; P < .05) (HAPC: STC, 94 +/- 10 mm Hg; control, 117 +/- 3 mm Hg; P < .01), whereas the amplitude of retrograde propagating sequences was greater in STC (43 +/- 6 mm Hg; control, 27 +/- 1 mm Hg; P < .01). The distances propagated by HAPC were significantly less in STC (36 +/- 4.5 vs 47 +/- 2.3 cm, controls; P < .05), and there was no evidence of a region-specific difference in propagation velocity of APS. Neither meal ingestion nor waking significantly increased colonic motor activity in patients with STC. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the small numbers available to be studied, we found that children with STC in whom an appendicostomy had been placed show significant abnormalities in pancolonic motor function.

Development and validation of the Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life questionnaire.
Marquis P, De La Loge C, Dubois D, McDermott A, Chassany O
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 May;40(5):540-51.

OBJECTIVE: Chronic constipation is characterized by difficult, infrequent, or seemingly incomplete bowel movements. The Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life (PAC-QOL) questionnaire was developed to address the need for a standardized, patient-reported outcomes measure to evaluate constipation over time. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Items for the PAC-QOL were generated from the literature, clinical experts, and patients. Following principal components and multi-trait analyses, 28 items were retained forming four subscales (worries and concerns, physical discomfort, psychosocial discomfort, and satisfaction) and an overall scale. Validation studies were conducted in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia, to evaluate the internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's alpha), reproducibility (Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICCs)), validity (analysis of variance models), and responsiveness (effect size) of the PAC-QOL scales. RESULTS: The PAC-QOL scales were internally consistent (Cronbach's alpha >0.80) and reproducible (ICCs >0.70, except for the satisfaction subscale ICC=0.66). PAC-QOL scale scores were significantly associated with abdominal pain (p<0.001) and constipation severity (p<0.05). Effect sizes in patients reporting improvements in constipation over a 6-week period were moderate to large, with subscale effect sizes ranging from 0.76 to 3.41 and the overall scale effect size=1.77. Similar findings were observed in validation studies conducted in Europe, Canada, and Australia. CONCLUSIONS: The PAC-QOL is a brief but comprehensive assessment of the burden of constipation on patients' everyday functioning and well-being. Multinational studies demonstrate that the PAC-QOL is internally consistent, reproducible, valid, and responsive to improvements over time.

Effects of regular physical activity on defecation pattern in middle-aged patients complaining of chronic constipation.
De Schryver AM, Keulemans YC, Peters HP, Akkermans LM, Smout AJ, De Vries WR, van Berge-Henegouwen GP
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 Apr;40(4):422-9.

OBJECTIVE: It is not well known whether physical activity (PA) is useful in the management of patients complaining of constipation. The aim of this study was to test the influence of regular PA on colonic transit time and defecation in middle-aged inactive patients suffering from chronic idiopathic constipation. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty-three subjects (> 45 years) were randomly divided into group A (n = 18, 16 F, 2 M) and group B (n = 25, 20 F, 5 M). Group A subjects maintained their normal lifestyle during 12 weeks, followed by a 12-week PA programme. Group B performed a 12-week PA programme after randomization. PA comprised 30 min of brisk walking and a daily 11-min home-based programme. Both groups received dietary advice. Colonic transit time was measured using a radiographic multiple marker single film technique. RESULTS: Despite dietary advice, mean fibre and fluid intake did not change. In group B a significant reduction in 3 out of 4 of the Rome I criteria for constipation was observed, i.e. percentage of incomplete defecations, percentage of defecations requiring straining and percentage of hard stools (p < 0.05). As a consequence, the number of fulfilled Rome criteria for constipation decreased (2.7 to 1.7; p < 0.05). Furthermore, the rectosigmoid and total colonic transit time decreased (17.5 to 9.6 h and 79.2 to 58.4 h, respectively; p < 0.05). After PA the number of fulfilled Rome criteria also decreased in group A (2.6 to 1.7; p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In middle-aged inactive subjects with symptoms of chronic constipation, it is advisable to promote regular physical activity since it improves both the defecation pattern and rectosigmoid or total colonic transit time.

Prevalence and impact of upper and lower gastrointestinal symptoms in the Greek urban general population.
Papatheodoridis GV, Karamanolis DG
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 Apr;40(4):412-21.

OBJECTIVES: To study the prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms in the Greek urban general population, their associations with patient characteristics, and their effect on patients' daily activities. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study included 700 adults from the Athens-Piraeus area selected by a 2-stage scheme based on the official maps of the Hellenic Statistic Service. Structured questionnaires were completed through personal interviews. Dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were diagnosed according to widely accepted definitions. RESULTS: Of the 700 individuals, 53% reported > or = 1 gastrointestinal symptom during the past week and 55% during the past 6 months (dyspepsia: 48%, GERD: 38%, IBS: 21%). Only one disorder was diagnosed in 25% (dyspepsia: 18%, GERD: 7%), and > or = 2 disorders in 75% of symptomatic individuals. Dyspepsia or GERD was predominant in 7% and 16% and IBS in 28% and 19% of the patients with relevant symptoms during the past week and the past 6 months, respectively (p = 0.017). Substantial symptoms during the past 6 months were reported by 60% of the symptomatic individuals. Affected daily activities were reported by 22% of symptomatic and 5% of asymptomatic individuals (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Gastrointestinal symptoms are highly prevalent in the Greek urban general population and are substantial in the majority of symptomatic individuals. Dyspepsia and GERD are reported much more frequently than IBS symptoms, but there is a significant overlap between symptomatic diagnoses, while the predominant diagnosis may change over time. Gastrointestinal symptoms have a significant impact on patients' daily activities.

Stapled transanal rectal resection for obstructed defaecation and evidence-based practice.
Jayne DG, Finan PJ
Br J Surg 2005 Jul;92(7):793-794. No Abstract.
ulness of these diagnostic tests will be further enhanced.

The Dark Side of Double-Stapled Transanal Rectal Resection.
Binda GA, Pescatori M, Romano G
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Jun 29;.

Colonic response to food in constipation.
Bouchoucha M, Devroede G, Faye A, Le Toumelin P, Arhan P, Arsac M
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Jun 21;.

OBJECTIVES: Colonic response to food is possibly abnormal in constipation. METHODS: The colonic response to food was evaluated in 323 patients and 60 healthy subjects by following the movements of radiopaque markers after ingestion of a standard 1,000-cal test meal. Constipated patients were divided into four groups: one with a normal, and three with a delayed colorectal transit time. When the delay was found mainly in the ascending colon, the group was labeled as suffering from "colonic inertia". In "hindgut dysfunction", the delay was predominantly found in the descending colon, whereas the term "outlet obstruction" was reserved for constipated patients whose major site of delay was the rectosigmoid area. Colonic response to food was quantified by evaluating the variation of markers in a given abdominal region and the evolution of the geometric center on the entire plain film of the abdomen. RESULTS: Emptying of the caecum-ascending colon and filling of the rectosigmoid area characterize the colonic response to food in healthy subjects. Constipated patients also filled the rectosigmoid, but different patterns were found in the colon. In constipated patients with transit in the normal range, there was a frequent (41%) absence of colonic response to food as compared to controls (13%) and constipated patients with delayed transit (p<0.0001). The response to food of patients with colonic inertia was similar to that of healthy subjects in terms of distal progression, but less marked. The hindgut dysfunction group emptied the entire left colon but failed to empty the caecum and ascending colon. In the outlet obstruction group, there was no distal progress of the geometric center after meal. CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal colonic response to food is frequently found in constipated patients, with different patterns according to the type of constipation.

Chronic Childhood Constipation Is Associated with Impaired Quality of Life: A Case-Controlled Study.
Youssef NN, Langseder AL, Verga BJ, Mones RL, Rosh JR
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Jul;41(1):56-60.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of chronic constipation on children's quality of life. METHODS: From October 2002 to November 2003, 224 children (140 male, 84 female, aged 10.6 +/- 2.9 years) and 224 parents were evaluated by a health related quality of life tool during initial outpatient consultation. Children with constipation (n = 80) were compared with controls with inflammatory bowel disease (n = 42), controls with gastroesophageal reflux disease (n = 56), and with healthy children (n = 46). RESULTS: Children with constipation had lower quality of life scores than did those with inflammatory bowel disease (70 versus 84; P < 0.05), gastroesophageal reflux disease (70 versus 80; P < 0.05), and healthy children (70 versus 88; P < 0.05). Children with constipation reported lower physical scores than did inflammatory bowel disease patients (75 versus 85; P < 0.02), gastroesophageal reflux disease patients (75 versus 85; P < 0.05), or healthy children (75 versus 87; P < 0.05). Parents of children with constipation reported lower scores than did their children (61 versus 70; P < 0.05). Children with constipation had longer duration of symptoms than did the controls with inflammatory bowel disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease (43.8 months versus 14.2 months; P < 0.001). Prolonged duration of symptoms for children with constipation correlated with lower parent-reported scores (P < 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: At initial evaluation, children with constipation have a lower quality of life than do children with inflammatory bowel disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Self-reported lower scores may be a reflection of impaired physical ability. Parental perceptions of low quality of life are probably impacted by the duration of their child's symptoms and by family members with similar complaints. Practitioners should be aware of the high level of parental concern and the relatively low self-reported and parent-reported quality of life in children with chronic constipation as they plan therapy.

Infusion of neostigmine-glycopyrrolate for bowel evacuation in persons with spinal cord injury.
Korsten MA, Rosman AS, Ng A, Cavusoglu E, Spungen AM, Radulovic M, Wecht J, Bauman WA. Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Jul;100(7):1560-5.

Defecatory complications are common after spinal cord injury (SCI) and have been attributed, in part, to an imbalance of the autonomic nervous system between parasympathetic and sympathetic effects on the colon. Because parasympathetic (i.e., cholinergic) input to the bowel may be downregulated after SCI, it was hypothesized that neostigmine, a medication that increases cholinergic tone by blocking the metabolism of acetylcholine, might promote bowel evacuation in these persons. Since neostigmine is known to cause bradycardia and bronchoconstriction, we also assessed whether these side-effects could be prevented by coadministration of neostigmine with glycopyrrolate, an anticholinergic agent that has limited activity on the muscarinic receptors of the colon. The hypothesis was tested in 13 persons with SCI in whom videofluoroscopy was carried out after instillation of a barium oatmeal paste into the rectum and descending colon. On separate days, subjects received, in a randomized, blinded design, one of three intravenous infusates (normal saline, 2 mg neostigmine, or 2 mg neostigmine + 0.4 mg glycopyrrolate). The effect of these infusates on bowel evacuation of the barium paste, heart rate, and airway resistance was determined. Both neostigmine and neostigmine + glycopyrrolate resulted in prompt bowel evacuation. The nadir heart rate was lower after neostigmine alone than with the combination. Neostigmine administration increased both total and central airway resistance, an effect that was not observed with the coadministration of glycopyrrolate. Other side-effects of neostigmine and the combination of drugs included muscle fasciculations and dry mouth, both of which were mild and short-lived. Abdominal cramping was noted in subjects with spinal cord lesions below thoracic level 10. These results indicated that neostigmine/glycopyrrolate administration is safe and well tolerated in persons with chronic SCI. (Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1-6).

Short-Pouch and Low-Anastomosis Duhamel Procedure Results in Better Fecal Control and Normal Defecation Pattern.
Antao B, Radhwan T, Samuel M, Kiely E
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Jun 16;.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to analyze the long-term outcome of the short-pouch and low-anastomosis Duhamel procedure and to evaluate the quality of life after pull-through. We also tried to answer the questions: Does the modified Duhamel procedure produce fecal continence? Is the quality of life correlated to normal bowel function (1-3 per day) without the use of laxatives? MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between January 1993 and January 2002, 53 patients, 44 (83 percent) males and 9 (17 percent) females, who underwent a Duhamel procedure were assessed retrospectively. Of the 53 children, 36 (67.9 percent) underwent a primary Duhamel procedure at our institute (Group A). Seventeen (32.1 percent) patients had a primary Duhamel pull-through and subsequently a stoma before a redo modified Duhamel procedure (Group B). The technical modification was creation of a short rectal pouch of 35 mm, achieving a low colorectal anastomosis 0.5 cm from or on the dentate line. All 53 patients were assessed prospectively by a disease-specific questionnaire. The total score provided a single index of the quality of life associated with fecal continence. RESULTS: For Group A (n = 36), the mean period of follow-up was 71.4 +/- 29 months. Constipation was seen in four (11.1 percent) patients. In two (5.6 percent) patients there was a mild degree of soiling. Sensation and urge to defecate was intact in 34 (94.4 percent) children who could wait to go to the toilet until it was socially convenient. For Group B (n = 17), the mean period of follow-up was 73.9 +/- 31.2 months. Constipation occurred in 17 (100 percent), encopresis in 14 (82.4 percent), and enterocolitis in 15 (88.2 percent) after the primary Duhamel procedure. In comparison, there was complete absence of constipation (100 percent), encopresis (100 percent), and complete resolution of enterocolitis (100 percent) after the redo modified Duhamel (P = 0.001). Continence to solid stools after primary Duhamel was seen in 5 (29.4 percent) vs. 17 (100 percent) after redo modified Duhamel. After the redo modified Duhamel all 17 (100 percent) patients have retained the sensation and urge to defecate and 15 (88.2 percent) can wait to get to the toilet until it is socially convenient. In all 53 patients, the quality of life was good in 86.8 percent (46/53) and correlated directly with fecal continence (r = 0.977). There was no correlation between age of patient and fecal continence (r = 0.597) and rate of fecal incontinence did not decrease with age. Direct correlation was seen with the presence of constipation and the incidence of late onset enterocolitis (r = 0.942). CONCLUSIONS: Short-pouch, low-anastomosis Duhamel pull-through procedure results in fecal continence and complete emptying. The above procedure has a positive impact on the quality of life in these children.

Impaired Proximal Colonic Motor Response to Rectal Mechanical and Chemical Stimulation in Obstructed Defecation.
Dinning PG, Bampton PA, Kennedy ML, Lubowski DZ, King D, Cook IJ
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Jun 16;.

PURPOSE: Both motor and sensory dysfunction have been implicated in the pathogenesis of obstructed defecation. We have found that despite preservation of a defecatory urge, patients with obstructed defecation have lost the normal predefecatory augmentation in frequency and amplitude of colonic propagating pressure waves. This observation might be explainable by either altered rectal sensory thresholds or by dysfunction in the colonic motor apparatus. By measuring rectal sensory thresholds and proximal colonic motor responses to rectal mechanical and chemical stimuli, we tested the hypotheses that central perception of rectal stimuli is enhanced and that the proximal colonic motor response to rectal stimulation is attenuated. METHODS: In seven patients with obstructed defecation and ten healthy volunteers we measured proximal colonic motor responses and sensory thresholds in response to both rectal balloon distention and rectal instillation of chenodeoxycholic acid. RESULTS: In controls, but not in patients, rectal mechanical distention significantly reduced and chemical stimulation significantly increased the frequency of proximal colonic propagating sequences (P = 0.01). There was no significant difference in rectal sensory thresholds between patients and controls. Prior instillation of chenodeoxycholic acid significantly reduced (P < 0.03) maximum tolerated balloon volume and defecatory urge volume to comparable degree in both patients and controls. CONCLUSIONS: In obstructed defecation, 1) the normal rectocolonic pathways mediating stimulation-induced proximal colonic propagating pressure waves are nonfunctioning, and. 2) central perception of these rectal stimuli is normal.

Comment on Doctor Swenson's paper on Hirschprung's disease.
Raffensperger J. J
Pediatr Surg 2005 May;40(5):888-9; author reply 890.

MACE or caecostomy button for idiopathic constipation in children: A comparison of complications and outcomes.
Schmittenbecher P.
J Pediatr Surg 2005 May;40(5):893.

Long-term clinical outcome in patients with Hirschsprung's disease and associated Down's syndrome.
Menezes M, Puri P.
J Pediatr Surg 2005 May;40(5):810-2.

Abstract Background/Purpose Down's syndrome (DS) is the most common chromosomal abnormality associated with Hirschsprung's disease (HD). The purpose of this study was to review the long-term clinical outcome in patients with HD and associated DS. Methods Between 1975 and 2003, 39 (15%) of the 259 patients with HD had been associated with DS. Follow-up was carried out by means of examination of patient's records and personal/telephone interviews with the patient's parents or guardians. Results Twenty-six (67%) patients presented in the newborn period and 13 (33%) after the neonatal period. Twenty-eight (72%) patients had rectosigmoid HD, 10 long segment, and 1 total colonic aganglionosis. Thirty-two patients had other associated anomalies, 24 of these having cardiac anomalies. Definitive pull-through operation was performed in 33 patients. Parents of 1 child refused surgical intervention and parents of 2 children decided against pull-through operation after colostomy. Three children died before pull through. Thirteen patients had one or more episodes of enterocolitis after pull-through operation. At the time of follow-up (6 months to 28 years), 3 patients were found to have reverted to stoma because of poor bowel control or recurrent enterocolitis. Of the remaining 30 patients, 3 were lost to follow-up and 4 were too young to be assessed for bowel control. Assessment of bowel function in 23 patients revealed normal control in 8 (4 of these soiled for 6-17 years after definitive surgery), soiling in 8, and constipation requiring enemas or laxatives in 7. Conclusions The vast majority of patients with HD associated with DS continue to have disturbances of bowel function after definitive pull-through operation.

Phenotypic variation in functional disorders of defecation.
Bharucha AE, Fletcher JG, Seide B, Riederer SJ, Zinsmeister AR.
Gastroenterology 2005 May;128(5):1199-210.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Although obstructed defecation is generally attributed to pelvic floor dyssynergia, clinical observations suggest a wider spectrum of anorectal disturbances. Our aim was to characterize phenotypic variability in constipated patients by anorectal assessments. METHODS: Anal pressures, rectal balloon expulsion, rectal sensation, and pelvic floor structure (by endoanal magnetic resonance imaging) and motion (by dynamic magnetic resonance imaging) were assessed in 52 constipated women and 41 age-matched asymptomatic women. Phenotypes were characterized in patients by principal components analysis of these measurements. RESULTS: Among patients, 16 had a hypertensive anal sphincter, 41 had an abnormal rectal balloon expulsion test, and 20 had abnormal rectal sensation. Forty-nine patients (94%) had abnormal pelvic floor motion during evacuation and/or squeeze. After correcting for age and body mass index, 3 principal components explained 71% of variance between patients. These factors were weighted most strongly by perineal descent during evacuation (factor 1), anorectal location at rest (factor 2), and anal resting pressure (factor 3). Factors 1 and 3 discriminated between controls and patients. Compared with patients with normal (n = 23) or reduced (n = 18) perineal descent, patients with increased (n = 11) descent were more likely (P < or = .01) to be obese, have an anal resting pressure >90 mm Hg, and have a normal rectal balloon expulsion test result. CONCLUSIONS: These observations demonstrate that functional defecation disorders comprise a heterogeneous entity that can be subcharacterized by perineal descent during defecation, perineal location at rest, and anal resting pressure. Further studies are needed to ascertain if the phenotypes reflect differences in the natural history of these disorders.

Breath Methane Associated With Slow Colonic Transit Time in Children With Chronic Constipation.
Soares AC, Lederman HM, Fagundes-Neto U, de Morais MB.
J Clin Gastroenterol 2005 Jul;39(6):512-515.

OBJECTIVE: This study analyzed the relationship between methane production and colonic transit time in children with chronic constipation. METHODOLOGY: Forty children, from 3 to 13 years of age, suffering from chronic constipation were included. Methane production was defined when the breath methane concentration was greater than 3 ppm. The total and segmental colonic transit times were measured with radio-opaque markers. RESULTS: Soiling was present in 34 (85.0%) of 40 patients with constipation. Methane production was present in 25 of 34 (73.5%) patients with constipation and soiling and only in 1 (16.7%) of 6 with constipation but without soiling (P = 0.014). The medians of total colonic transit time were 80.5 and 61.0 hours, respectively (P = 0.04), in methane and nonmethane producers. Segmental colonic transit times were 17.5 and 10.5 hours, respectively (P = 0.580), in right colon, 29.5 and 10.5 hours (P = 0.001), respectively, in left colon, and 31.5 and 27.0 hours (P = 0.202), respectively, in the rectosigmoid. By the sixth week of treatment, the reduction in the total colonic transit time was greater in patients who had become nonmethane producers. CONCLUSION: The presence of breath methane in children with chronic constipation may suggest the possibility of prolonged colonic transit time.

Octreotide induced prolongation of colonic transit increases faecal anaerobic bacteria, bile acid metabolising enzymes, and serum deoxycholic acid in patients with acromegaly.
Thomas LA, Veysey MJ, Murphy GM, Russell-Jones D, French GL, Wass JA, Dowling RH
Gut 2005 May;54(5):630-5.

BACKGROUND: Acromegalic patients have slow colonic transit, increased rates of deoxycholic acid formation, and an increased prevalence of cholesterol gall stones, especially during long term octreotide treatment. However, the effects of this prolonged large bowel transit time on the numbers of faecal anaerobes and the activities of the enzyme systems which biotransform conjugated cholic acid into unconjugated deoxycholic acid (cholylglycine hydrolase and 7alpha-dehydroxylase) are unknown. METHODS: Therefore, in 10 non-acromegalic controls, 11 acromegalic patients not treated with octreotide, and 11 acromegalics on long term (8-48 months) octreotide (100-200 mug three times daily subcutaneously), we measured large bowel transit time and, in freshly voided faeces, the activities of the two bile acid metabolising enzymes, and related the results to the proportion of deoxycholic acid in fasting serum. Moreover, in patients with acromegaly, we measured quantitative bacteriology in faeces. RESULTS: Mean large bowel transit time in acromegalics not treated with octreotide (35 (SEM 6.5) hours) was 66% longer than that in non-acromegalic controls (21 (3.1) hours; NS) and became further prolonged during octreotide treatment (48 (6.6) hours; p<0.001). These octreotide induced changes in transit were associated, in acromegalic patients, with more total (15.0 (2.5) v 6.3 (1.3)x10(9) colony forming units (cfu)/g; p<0.05) and Gram positive (6.3 (2.3) v 3.2 (1.0)x10(9) cfu/g; p<0.05) faecal anaerobes. Mean faecal cholylglycine hydrolase activity in the long term octreotide group (22.0 (6.0)x10(-2) U/mg protein) was 138% greater than that in non-acromegalic controls (12.0 (6.0)x10(-2); p<0.01). Similarly, mean 7alpha-dehydroxylase activity in octreotide treated acromegalics (11.1 (1.18)x10(-4) U/mg protein) was 78% greater than that in patients not receiving long term octreotide (6.3 (0.5)x10(-4); p<0.001). The mean proportion of deoxycholic acid in fasting serum also increased from 18.0 (2.88)% in the untreated group to 29.6 (2.3)% during long term octreotide (p<0.05). There were significant linear relationships between large bowel transit time and: (i) faecal 7alpha-dehydroxylase activity; and (ii) the proportion of deoxycholic acid in fasting serum and between 7alpha-dehydroxylase activity and the proportion of deoxycholic acid in serum.Summary/interpretation: These data suggest that increased deoxycholic acid formation seen in acromegalics during octreotide treatment is due not only to the greater numbers of faecal anaerobes but also to increased activity of the rate limiting enzyme pathway (7alpha-dehydroxylation) converting cholic acid to deoxycholic acid.

Increased deoxycholic acid absorption and gall stones in acromegalic patients treated with octreotide: more evidence for a connection between slow transit constipation and gall stones.
Hofmann AF
Gut 2005 May;54(5):575-8.

Chronic constipation and food intolerance: a model of proctitis causing constipation.
Carroccio A, Scalici C, Maresi E, Di Prima L, Cavataio F, Noto D, Porcasi R, Averna MR, Iacono G
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 Jan;40(1):33-42.

OBJECTIVE: Chronic constipation in children can be linked to cow's milk intolerance (CMI) but the existence of a food intolerance-dependent proctitis is still debated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the histologic data in patients with food intolerance-related constipation. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fifty-two consecutive patients (22 M, median age 4 years) with chronic constipation unresponsive to common treatment were enrolled. All patients were put on a cow's milk-free diet for 4 weeks and those uncured on this diet underwent a subsequent 4-week period of oligoantigenic diet. In the patients cured on elimination diet, a subsequent double-blind food challenge was performed to confirm the diagnosis of food intolerance. At entry to the study, routine hemato-chemical and immunologic assays, rectoscopy, and histologic study of the rectal mucosa were performed. In the patients cured on elimination diet, rectal histology was repeated when they were cured. RESULTS: Twenty-four patients were found to be suffering from CMI and 6 from multiple food intolerance. These patients had a normal stool frequency on elimination diet, while constipation reappeared on food challenge. The condition of the remaining 22 patients did not improve on elimination diet. The patients with food intolerance showed a significantly higher frequency of erosions of the mucosa, number of intraepithelial lymphocytes and eosinophils, and number of eosinophils in the lamina propria. Study of the rectal mucus gel layer showed that the food-intolerant patients had a significantly lower thickness than the other subjects studied. In the food intolerant patients, histologic abnormalities disappeared on elimination diet, when the patients were well. CONCLUSIONS: Food intolerance-related constipation is characterized by proctitis with eosinophil infiltrate of the rectal mucosa. A reduced mucus gel layer can be considered a contributory factor in the pathogenesis of the constipation.

Responses of anal constipation to biofeedback treatment.
Fernandez-Fraga X, Azpiroz F, Casaus M, Aparici A, Malagelada JR
Scand J Gastroenterol 2005 Jan;40(1):20-7.

OBJECTIVE: Biofeedback is considered an effective treatment for anal constipation, but a substantial proportion of patients fail to improve. Our aim was to identify the key predictors of outcome using a comprehensive standardized evaluation of anorectal function. MATERIAL AND METHODS: We retrospectively analysed the clinical and physiological data of 148 patients consecutively treated for constipation due to functional outlet obstruction by biofeedback. Clinical evaluation was performed by means of a structured questionnaire. Anorectal evaluation included anal pressure, neural reflexes, defecatory dynamics, rectal compliance, rectal sensitivity and balloon expulsion test. Biofeedback treatment was performed using a manometric technique. The clinical response to biofeedback treatment was evaluated as good (improvement of constipation) or poor (no improvement or worsening). RESULTS: Of the 148 patients included, 112 (86 F, 26 M; age range 8-67 years) were followed-up for between 1 and 44 months, and 66% had a good response to treatment. The response depended on the severity of the defecatory dysfunction. Thus, lack of anal relaxation during straining and inability to evacuate a 1 ml intrarectal balloon were inversely related to physiological variables related to therapeutic success. Among the 49 patients with absent anal relaxation, 51% had a good response to treatment (versus 78% in patients with partial relaxation; p < 0.01), and among the 29 patients with failed balloon expulsion, 48% responded to treatment (versus 74% in patients able to evacuate > or = 1 ml intrarectal balloon; p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Even in the presence of negative predictors, biofeedback is a valuable treatment option in a substantial proportion of constipated patients.

Medium-term results of vertical reduction rectoplasty and sigmoid colectomy for idiopathic megarectum.
Gladman MA, Williams NS, Scott SM, Ogunbiyi OA, Lunniss PJ
Br J Surg 2005 Apr 4;.

BACKGROUND: Vertical reduction rectoplasty (VRR) was devised specifically to address the physiological abnormalities present in the rectum of patients with idiopathic megarectum (IMR). This study evaluated the medium-term clinical and physiological results of VRR. METHODS: VRR and sigmoid colectomy was performed in ten patients with IMR and constipation (six women). Patients were evaluated before and a median of 60 (range 28-74) months after surgery by assessment of symptoms using scoring systems and anorectal physiological measurements. Independent, detailed postoperative evaluation of rectal diameter, compliance, and sensory and evacuatory function was performed. RESULTS: There were no deaths or late complications. Symptoms recurred necessitating permanent ileostomy formation in two patients. Median (range) constipation scores improved from 22 (18-27) before to 10 (0-24) after surgery (P = 0.016). Median (range) bowel frequency increased from 1.5 (0.2-7) to 7 (0.5-21) per week (P = 0.016). Rectal diameter, compliance and sensory function were normal in seven of eight patients after surgery. Evacuatory function and colonic transit were each normalized in two of eight patients after VRR. CONCLUSION: VRR corrected rectal diameter, compliance and sensory function in most patients, and clinical benefit was sustained in the medium term. The procedure was associated with a low morbidity, and no mortality and should be considered in the surgical management of IMR. Copyright (c) 2005 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Radionuclear transit to assess sites of delay in large bowel transit in children with chronic idiopathic constipation.
Cook BJ, Lim E, Cook D, Hughes J, Chow CW, Stanton MP, Bidarkar SS, Southwell BR, Hutson JM
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Mar;40(3):478-83.

PURPOSE: Chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC) with soiling in children may result from slow colonic transit (SCT) or anorectal dysfunction and/or psychological problems known as functional fecal retention (FFR). Evidence is accumulating that SCT and FFR need different treatments, but they are poorly distinguished by solid marker studies. The authors used radionuclear transit scintigraphy to categorize children with CIC as having either FFR or SCT. METHODS: Children (N = 101) with CIC (and soiling) who were referred for further investigation after failure of standard treatments (diet, laxatives) received radiolabeled colloid orally, and scintillation images were collected at 0 to 2, 6, 24, 30 and 48 hours (total radiation dosage = 2 standard x-rays). Radioactivity in 6 regions (precolonic, ascending, transverse, descending, rectosigmoid, and evacuated feces) was measured, and the median position (geometric center) of radioactivity at each time was determined. RESULTS: In children, meals normally reach the cecum at 6 hours and are evacuated in 30 to 58 hours. Fifty patients had retention of radioactivity in the proximal colon at 48 hours, indicating SCT. Analysis of the images and the geometric center showed that passage through the ascending colon and transverse colon was delayed in SCT. In 24 patients, radioactivity was passed by 30 hours, indicating normal transit or possible FFR. Twenty-two patients had retention in the rectum, indicating definite FFR. Five studies were borderline. CONCLUSIONS: Radionuclear transit scintigraphy is useful for categorizing patients with CIC as having either FFR or SCT, allowing for different treatments. Radionuclear transit scintigraphy provides more detail and greater sensitivity than solid marker studies in diagnosing CIC. Radionuclear transit scintigraphy showed that half of our patients had SCT.

Efficacy and safety of traditional medical therapies for chronic constipation: systematic review.
Ramkumar D, Rao SS
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Apr;100(4):936-71.

OBJECTIVES: Constipation is common, and its treatment is unsatisfactory. Although many agents have been tried, there are limited data to support their use. Our aim was to undertake a systematic review of the efficacy and safety of traditional medical therapies for chronic constipation and to make evidence-based recommendations. METHODS: We searched the English literature for drug trials evaluating treatment of constipation by using MEDLINE and PUBMED databases from 1966 to 2003. Only studies that were randomized, conducted on adult subjects, and published as full manuscripts were included. Studies were assigned a quality score based on published methodology. Standard forms were used to abstract data regarding study design, duration, outcome measures, and adverse events. By using the cumulative evidence of published data for each agent, recommendations were made regarding their use following the United States Preventive Services Task Force guidelines. RESULTS: Good evidence (Grade A) was found to support the use of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and tegaserod. Moderate evidence (Grade B) was found to support the use of psyllium, and lactulose. There was a paucity of quality data regarding many commonly used agents including milk of magnesia, senna, bisacodyl, and stool softeners. CONCLUSIONS: There is good evidence to support the use of PEG, tegaserod, lactulose, and psyllium. Surprisingly, there is a paucity of trials for many commonly used agents. These aspects should be considered when designing trials comparing new agents with traditional therapies because their use may not be well validated. (Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1-36).

Constipation management in palliative care: a survey of practices in the United kingdom.
Goodman M, Low J, Wilkinson S
J Pain Symptom Manage 2005 Mar;29(3):238-44.

Fifty percent of patients admitted to hospices cite constipation as a concern. This study evaluates how constipation was managed in 11 hospices. Patients and nurses completed questionnaires at two time points: baseline and 7-10 days later. Outcomes were evaluated using a Constipation Visual Analogue Scale and a satisfaction with management of constipation questionnaire. A total of 475 patients participated; 413 completed both assessments. Forty-six percent of patients reported no constipation and 15% of patients reported severe constipation. For 75% of patients, no change in the perception of constipation was observed over the study period. Patients expressed satisfaction with their constipation management. The severity of constipation was overestimated by nurses in many patients. The findings indicate that constipation was being prevented or reasonably well managed. However, severe constipation continues to be a problem. Assessment of patients' bowel function needs to be more rigorous and those identified as severely constipated need daily monitoring.

Images in clinical medicine. Severe fecal impaction.
Loubieres Y, Chereau O
N Engl J Med 2005 Mar 24;352(12):e12.

Systematic review of surgical options for idiopathic megarectum and megacolon.
Gladman MA, Scott SM, Lunniss PJ, Williams NS
Ann Surg 2005 Apr;241(4):562-74.

OBJECTIVE: A subgroup of patients with intractable constipation has persistent dilatation of the bowel, which in the absence of an organic cause is termed idiopathic megabowel (IMB). The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the published outcome data of surgical procedures for IMB in adults. METHODS: Electronic searches of the MEDLINE (PubMed) database, Cochrane Library, EMBase, and Science Citation Index were performed. Only peer-reviewed articles of surgery for IMB published in the English language were evaluated. Studies of all surgical procedures were included, providing they were performed on 3 or more patients, and overall success rates were documented. Studies were critically appraised in terms of design and methodology, inclusion criteria, success, mortality and morbidity rates, and functional outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 27 suitable studies were identified, all evidence was low quality obtained from case series, and there were no comparative studies. The studies involved small numbers of patients (median 12, range 3-50), without long-term follow-up (median 3 years, range 0.5-7). Inclusion of subjects, methods of data acquisition, and reporting of outcomes were extremely variable. Subtotal colectomy was successful in 71.1% (0%-100%) but was associated with significant morbidity related to bowel obstruction (14.5%, range 0%-29%). Segmental resection was successful in 48.4% (12.5%-100%), and recurrent symptoms were common (23.8%). Rectal procedures achieved a successful outcome in 71% to 87% of patients. Proctectomy, the Duhamel, and pull-through procedures were associated with significant mortality (3%-25%) and morbidity (6%-29%). Vertical reduction rectoplasty (VRR) offered promising short-term success (83%). Pelvic-floor procedures were associated with poor outcomes. A stoma provided a safe alternative but was only effective in 65% of cases. CONCLUSIONS: Outcome data of surgery for IMB must be interpreted with extreme caution due to limitations of included studies. Recommendations based on firm evidence cannot be given, although colectomy appears to be the optimum procedure in patients with a nondilated rectum, restorative proctocolectomy the most suitable in those with dilatation of the colon and rectum, and VRR in those patients with dilatation confined to the rectum. Appropriately designed studies are required to make valid comparisons of the different procedures available.

Laparoscopic Total Colectomy for Slow-Transit Constipation.
Kessler H, Hohenberger W
Dis Colon Rectum 2005 Mar 15;.

INTRODUCTION: Total colectomy is the preferred surgical option in proven slow-transit constipation. With advances in technology and instrumentation, laparoscopic total colectomy has become feasible. METHODS: After a mechanical bowel preparation, the patient is placed in a modified lithotomy position and pneumoperitoneum is established. Using a subumbilical 12-mm trocar the camera is inserted. Two further 12-mm and 5-mm trocars, each, are used for access to the peritoneal cavity. In an approach from medial to lateral, ileocolic, middle colic vessels and the inferior mesenteric artery are divided. Medial mobilization is completed before the sigmoid is freed up laterally. The lateral mobilization continues orally to the descending, transverse, and ascending colon with the omentum being separated from the transverse colon completely. The mesorectum is divided using the harmonic scalpel, and the upper rectum is transected with either one or two passes of the endoscopic linear cutting stapler. The colon is exteriorized through a 5-cm Pfannenstiel incision. The terminal ileum is transected extracorporeally. After pneumoperitoneum has been reestablished, the ileorectal anastomosis is performed laparoscopically using a double-stapling technique. RESULTS: The video reports about a 56-year-old lady who had been suffering from chronic constipation since childhood and had become dependent on laxatives. A dolichocolon had been found in barium enema. A prolonged colonic passage was proven in an x-ray transit study. There were no intraoperative or postoperative complications. After surgery, first bowel movements occurred on the second day and the patient was discharged from the hospital on the sixth postoperative day. CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic total colectomy is a safe, feasible operation for slow transit constipation. With fast recovery and short length of stay it may become an attractive surgical approach.

Role of progesterone signaling in the regulation of G-protein levels in female chronic constipation.
Xiao ZL, Pricolo V, Biancani P, Behar J
Gastroenterology 2005 Mar;128(3):667-75.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Chronic constipation caused by slow transit is common in women with an F/M ratio of 9:1. The cause and mechanisms responsible for this syndrome are unknown. Progesterone has been suggested as a possible contributing factor. Our aim was to investigate the site and mechanisms responsible for this colonic motility disorder. METHODS: Seven women with intractable constipation and slow transit time underwent colectomy and 6 women who underwent a left colectomy for adenocarcinoma (controls) were studied. Dissociated colonic circular muscle cells were obtained by enzymatic digestion. Changes in G-protein levels were measured by Western blot. The messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of Galpha q and progesterone receptors was determined by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and Northern blot. RESULTS: Muscle cells from patients with chronic constipation exhibited impaired contraction in response to receptor-G-protein-dependent agonists (cholecystokinin [CCK], acetylcholine) and in response to the direct G-protein activator guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiophosphate). Contraction was normal with receptor-G-protein-independent agonists (diacylglycerol and KCl). Western blot showed down-regulation of Galpha q/11 and up-regulation of Galpha s proteins in patients with chronic constipation. The mRNA expression of Galpha q was lower and the progesterone receptors were overexpressed in patients with chronic constipation compared with controls. These abnormalities were reproduced in vitro by pretreatment of normal colonic muscle cells with progesterone for 4 hours. CONCLUSIONS: Slow transit chronic constipation in women may be caused by down-regulation of contractile G proteins and up-regulation of inhibitory G proteins, probably caused by overexpression of progesterone receptors.

Hereditary vacuolar internal anal sphincter myopathy causing proctalgia fugax and constipation: a new case contribution.
de la Portilla F, Borrero JJ, Rafel E
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005 Mar;17(3):359-61.

Hereditary anal sphincter myopathy is rare. We present a family with one affected member with proctalgia fugax, constipation and internal anal sphincter hypertrophy. Ultrastructural findings show vacuolization of smooth muscle cells without the characteristic polyglucosan inclusion. Futher relief of symptoms was obtained using an oral calcium antagonist. Based on clinical presentation, endosonography and morphological findings, we consider our case is a histological variant of the vacuolar myopathy originally described.

Information from your family doctor. Irritable bowel syndrome.
Am Fam Physician 2005 Feb 1;71(3):547-8.

Information from your family doctor. Constipation.

Am Fam Physician 2005 Feb 1;71(3):539-40.

The Paris Consensus on Childhood Constipation Terminology (PACCT) Group.
Benninga M, Candy DC, Catto-Smith AG, Clayden G, Loening-Baucke V, Lorenzo CD, Nurko S, Staiano A
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Mar;40(3):273-5.

Topical Nitric Oxide Treatment after Pull Through Operations for Hirschsprung Disease.
Tiryaki T, Demirbag S, Atayurt H, Cetinkursun S
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Mar;40(3):390-392.

AIM: The diagnosis and treatment of Hirschsprung disease are well standardized. Symptoms of obstruction after surgery for Hirschsprung disease may result from residual spasticity of the internal anal sphincter. Nitric oxide (NO) is the chemical messenger mediating relaxation of the internal anal sphincter and its exogenous application results in a relaxation response in smooth muscle. The purpose of this study was to investigate topical NO application for obstructive symptoms after surgery for Hirschsprung disease and to correlate the symptoms with manometric findings with a view to directing further management. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors reviewed application of topical NO on six symptomatic children who were operated for Hirschsprung disease. Eighteen patients older than 3 years of age were evaluated for anorectal manometric, functional and clinical outcome. The symptoms included enterocolitis in three patients and constipation in three patients. NO ointment was applied twice daily for 6 weeks in symptomatic patients and manometry was repeated. RESULTS: Anorectal manometric evaluation of six patients showed high internal anal sphincter tone without reflex relaxation on applying distending pressure to the rectum. Marked improvement of symptoms was noted after 6-week application of topical NO and maximal internal anal resting pressure decreased significantly (35% reduction). After ceasing application of topical ointment, increased maximal anal resting pressure was seen again. CONCLUSION: Although anal sphincter hypertonicity is not thought to be the only cause of post-operative obstructive symptoms, relaxation of the internal anal sphincter may improve the symptoms. Topical NO can be used for treatment of obstructive symptoms in Hirschsprung disease. We managed our symptomatic patients successfully with local NO application with a reversible chemical sphincterotomy. NO could be used as a therapeutic modality.

The combination of Hirschsprung's disease and achalasia.
Kohler S, Fitze G, Hosie S, Wessel L, Holland-Cunz S
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Feb;40(2):E28-30.

Abstract The unusual combination of Hirschsprung's disease and Achalasia in one case treated by standard procedures led to the discussion about RET germ-line mutations and consequently to the speculation about higher risk for multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2-related tumors. Although a mutation could be excluded by sequence analysis in this case, the correlation of these specific diseases affords additive investigations to make sure that no further prophylactic procedures were necessary.

Serial transverse enteroplasty in intestinal atresia management.
Ismail A, Alkadhi A, Alnagaar O, Khirate A
J Pediatr Surg 2005 Feb;40(2):E5-6.

Abstract In intestinal atresia, resection of the proximal dilated bowel segment, if long, might lead to bowel length compromise. Although tapering enteroplasty and plication are well described to avoid such a resection, the use of serial transverse enteroplasty is proposed here as an alternative in this situation.

Constipation: Can't Tether the Symptoms to the Diagnosis.
Hirsch B
J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2005 Feb;40(2):239-40.

Expression of c-kit messenger ribonucleic acid and c-kit protein in sigmoid colon of patients with slow transit constipation.
Tong WD, Liu BH, Zhang LY, Xiong RP, Liu P, Zhang SB
Int J Colorectal Dis 2005 Feb 2;.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The c-kit protooncogene receptor and its ligand stem cell factor regulate the proliferation and survival of germ cells as well as interstitial cells of Cajal (ICCs). Decreased numbers of ICCs and defects in its networks have been reported in the colon of patients with slow transit constipation (STC). However, little information about the c-kit messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) and protein expression in the constipated colon is available. The aim of this study was to determine whether the expression of c-kit mRNA and c-kit protein declined in the colon in STC. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The sigmoid colonic samples from 12 patients with STC and from eight age-matched patients with non-obstructed colorectal cancer were used for this study. Expression of c-kit mRNA was detected by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and expression of c-kit protein was detected by Western blot analysis. RESULTS: Decreased expression of c-kit mRNA was demonstrated in the STC group compared with the control group. The ratio of c-kit and beta-actin was 1.26+/-0.32 in controls and 1.17+/-0.41 in the STC group (U=0.500, P=0.029). c-kit protein expression significantly declined in the STC group. The mean value of optical density was 162.97+/-5.43 in the control group and 96.64+/-8.80 in the STC group (U=0.000, P=0.021). CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that the expression of c-kit mRNA and c-kit protein significantly decreased in the colon of STC, suggesting that the c-kit signal pathway may play an important role in ICC reduction in STC.

Is constipation associated with decreased physical activity in normally active subjects?
Tuteja AK, Talley NJ, Joos SK, Woehl JV, Hickam DH
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Jan;100(1):124-9.

BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of physical activity in the management of constipation remains controversial. We examined the associations among physical activity, constipation, and quality of life (QoL) in a population of employed adults to determine whether the risk of constipation is related to physical activity. METHODS: A total of 1,069 employees (age range 24-77) of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Black Hills Health Care System were mailed validated questionnaires (response rate 72%), inquiring about bowel habits, QoL (SF 36), and physical activity (modified Baecke questionnaire). Constipation was defined using the Rome I criteria. RESULTS: One hundred and forty (19.4%, 95% CI 16.2-22.4) employees reported constipation. The average total physical activity and all subscales of physical activity were not significantly different in subjects with and without constipation (all p > or = 0.2). Subjects with constipation had lower QoL scores than subjects without constipation, and physical activity was positively correlated with physical functioning and health perception. CONCLUSION: Physical activity appears to be unrelated to the risk of constipation in employed adults, but higher physical activity was associated with improved QoL. Recommendations to increase physical activity may not alter symptoms of constipation but may improve overall well-being.

Tegaserod for the treatment of chronic constipation: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multinational study.
Kamm MA, Muller-Lissner S, Talley NJ, Tack J, Boeckxstaens G, Minushkin ON, Kalinin A, Dzieniszewski J, Haeck P, Fordham F, Hugot-Cournez S, Nault B
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Feb;100(2):362-72.

OBJECTIVES: Chronic constipation is a common, persistent disorder with limited effective treatment options. This study investigated the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of tegaserod in the treatment of chronic constipation. MATHODS: After a 2-wk baseline period, patients were randomized to double-blind treatment of 12 wk with tegaserod (2 or 6 mg b.i.d.) or placebo. Response during weeks 1-4 (primary variable) was defined as an increase in complete spontaneous bowel movement (CSBM)/wk. Secondary variables included response during weeks 1-12, patient evaluation of individual symptoms, and global assessment of bowel habits and constipation. RESULTS: One thousand two hundred and sixty-four patients were randomized to tegaserod or placebo. Responder rates for the primary efficacy variable were 35.6% for tegaserod 2 mg b.i.d. (p= 0.0059 vs placebo), 40.2% for 6 mg b.i.d. (p < 0.0001 vs placebo) and 26.7% for placebo. The number needed to treat was 7.3 for the 6 mg b.i.d. dose compared with 11.1 for tegaserod 2 mg b.i.d. Tegaserod 6 mg b.i.d. reduced straining, abdominal bloating/distension, and abdominal pain/discomfort during the 12-wk treatment period compared with placebo (p < 0.05 for all symptoms). Significant improvements were also seen in stool form and in global assessment of bowel habits and constipation. The most common adverse events, headache and abdominal pain, were more frequent with placebo than with tegaserod. CONCLUSIONS: Tegaserod was efficacious in relieving symptoms of chronic constipation and was well tolerated. (Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1-11).

Myths and misconceptions about chronic constipation.
Muller-Lissner SA, Kamm MA, Scarpignato C, Wald A
Am J Gastroenterol 2005 Jan;100(1):232-42.

There are many strongly held beliefs about constipation that are not evidence based. The purpose of this review is to address these beliefs concerning various aspects of constipation. There is no evidence to support the theory that diseases may arise via "autointoxication," whereby poisonous substances from stools within the colon are absorbed. Dolichocolon, defined as an elongated colon, should not be seen as a cause of constipation. The role of sex hormones altering gut function during the menstrual cycle appears to be minimal. During pregnancy they may play a role in slowing gut transit. Hypothyroidism can cause constipation, but among patients presenting with constipation, hypothyroidism is rare. A diet poor in fiber should not be assumed to be the cause of chronic constipation. Some patients may be helped by a fiber-rich diet but many patients with more severe constipation get worse symptoms when increasing dietary fiber intake. There is no evidence that constipation can successfully be treated by increasing fluid intake unless there is evidence of dehydration. In the elderly constipation may correlate with decreased physical activity, but many cofactors are likely to play a role. Intervention programs to increase physical activity as part of a broad rehabilitation program may help. It is unlikely that stimulant laxatives at recommended doses are harmful to the colon. A proportion of patients with chronic constipation is dependent of laxatives to achieve satisfactory bowel function, but this is not the result of prior laxative intake. Tolerance to stimulant laxatives is uncommon. There is no indication for the occurrence of "rebound constipation" after stopping laxative intake. While laxatives may be misused, there is no potential for addiction.

Role of anal dilatation in treatment of idiopathic constipation in children: long-term follow-up of a double-blind randomized controlled study.
Keshtgar AS, Ward HC, Clayden GS, Sanei A
Pediatr Surg Int 2005 Feb;21(2):100-105. Epub 2005 Jan 21.

Constipation in childhood is a common symptom, with an estimated incidence between 0.3% and 8%. Most of the evidence for the current management of constipation and fecal soiling in children is based on reports of nonrandomized retrospective trials. Anal dilatation has had an established role in the management of idiopathic constipation but has never been evaluated by a randomized study. A double-blind randomized controlled trial was done of children who failed to respond to medical treatment and were admitted for investigation and treatment of idiopathic constipation to Guy's Hospital, London, between April 2001 and April 2003. All children had intestinal transit study on admission. They were randomized, using a computer-generated allocation in sealed envelopes, to receive no anal dilatation (control group) or anal dilatation (anal dilatation group). Anorectal manometry and endosonography were done under ketamine anesthesia followed by anal dilatation if necessary under the same anesthesia. Disimpaction of feces from the rectum was done at the end of the procedure under general anesthesia using propofol muscle relaxant to minimize stretching of anal sphincter muscles in the control group. All children had intensification of medical treatment, toilet training, and monitoring of their response to treatment during their hospital stay, which ranged from 3 to 5 days. Outcome was measured using a parent's questionnaire of symptom severity at 3 and 12 months of follow-up by one of the authors, who was blinded to randomization. The symptom severity score ranged between 0 and 65 and consisted of scores for the following: delay in defecation (score range 0-10), difficulty and pain with passing stool (0-5), soiling problem (0-10), intensity of laxative treatment (0-10), child's general health (0-5), behavior related to the bowel problem (0-5), overall improvement of symptoms (0-12,) and assessment of megarectum on abdominal examination (0-8). Of 60 neurologically normal children, 31 (19 males) were randomized in the control group and 29 (18 males) in the anal dilatation group. All children had findings consistent with idiopathic constipation and positive anorectal reflex on manometry, no anal sphincter damage on endosonography, and no anal fissure on examination under anesthesia. The median age for control and anal dilatation groups was 7.97 (range 4.1-14.25) years and 7.78 (4-13.25) years, respectively. Both groups were also comparable with regard to median of duration of laxative treatment (32 months vs. 31.5 months), internal anal sphincter thickness on endosonography (0.90 mm vs. 0.80 mm), resting anal sphincter pressure on manometry (51 mmHg vs. 51 mmHg), total rectal capacity on manometry (260 mmHg vs. 260 mmHg), and total symptom severity score before admission (33 vs. 29), respectively. At 12-month follow-up, the median pre-admission symptom severity score had improved significantly, from 33 (range 12-49) in the control group and 29 (16-51) in the dilatation group to 15 (0-51, p<0.0001) and 19 (1-46, p<0.0001), respectively. There was no significant difference between the two groups with regard to symptom severity score improvement at 12-month follow-up (p<0.92). We found a significant correlation between total rectal capacity measured on manometry and symptom severity score before admission and at 12-month follow-up (r=0.30, p<0.01 and r=0.25, p<0.05, respectively). Our results indicate that anal dilatation does not contribute to the management of school-aged children with idiopathic constipation. Admission to hospital for clarification of diagnosis and intensification of medical treatment with disimpaction of stool from the rectum is beneficial.

The perceived effect of various foods and beverages on stool consistency.
Muller-Lissner SA, Kaatz V, Brandt W, Keller J, Layer P
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2005 Jan;17(1):109-12.

AIM: Some people believe that chocolate and other foods or beverages may cause constipation. This study was undertaken to quantify the effect of potentially constipating foods and beverages on apparently healthy and constipated populations of German individuals. METHODS: A questionnaire asking for the effect of certain foods and beverages on stool form (perceived consistency) was answered by 200 healthy controls, 122 patients with chronic constipation, and 766 patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). RESULTS: Patients with constipation or IBS-C reported altered stool form after food and beverage consumption more often than controls (controls 42.5% vs constipation 52.0% vs IBS-C 57.0%, P < 0.001). Controls experienced hardening of stools less often and experienced softening more often than either constipation or IBS-C patients. When patients were asked which foods or beverages caused constipation (open ended question), chocolate was most frequently mentioned, followed by white bread and bananas. The results of systematic questioning yielded chocolate (48-64% of respondents), bananas (29-48%), and black tea (14-24%) as constipating, while prunes (41-52%), coffee (14-24%), wine (8-30%), beer (14-24%), and smoking (42-70% in those who smoked) were considered stool softeners. CONCLUSION: Several foodstuffs may exert an effect on stool consistency. Chocolate, bananas and black tea are perceived to cause constipation, while prunes are perceived to soften stools in many people. Coffee, wine and beer were perceived to soften stools in a minority of people. Cigarettes are perceived to soften stools by about half of the smokers.

Obstipation as a paraneoplastic presentation of small cell lung cancer: case report and literature review.
Jun S, Dimyan M, Jones KD, Ladabaum U
Neurogastroenterol Motil 2005 Feb;17(1):16-22.

Abstract Paraneoplastic symptoms caused by abnormal gastrointestinal motility may be the initial manifestation of small cell lung cancer (SCLC). We report a case of a 63-year-old woman who presented with progressive constipation culminating in obstipation, and associated symptoms of more widespread dysmotility. A paraneoplastic syndrome was suspected. The only abnormality on chest computed tomography was a minimally enlarged paratracheal lymph node. Positron emission tomography demonstrated increased activity in the lymph node. The antinuclear neuronal antibody titer was elevated. Bronchoscopy with transtracheal biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of SCLC. One year after diagnosis, the patient had progressive symptoms of intestinal obstruction, and ultimately feculent vomiting. On abdominal radiography, colonic sitz markers ingested a year earlier were in virtually the same positions as after ingestion. Palliative colectomy with ileostomy was performed. The myenteric plexus in the terminal ileum and colon showed infiltration by a mixture of B-cell and T-cell lymphocytes and plasma cells, and no gross neuronal abnormalities. We review the clinical and pathologic features, clinical course, and management of paraneoplastic pseudoobstruction.