Relationship Among Anal Sphincter Injury, Patulous Anal Canal, and Anal Pressures in Patients With Anorectal Disorders.
ABSTRACT: The anal sphincters and puborectalis are imaged routinely with an endoanal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) coil, which does not assess co-aptation of the anal canal at rest. By using a MRI torso coil, we identified a patulous anal canal in some patients with anorectal disorders. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between anal sphincter and puborectalis injury, a patulous anal canal, and anal pressures.We performed a retrospective analysis of data from 119 patients who underwent MRI and manometry analysis of anal anatomy and pressures, respectively, from February 2011 through March 2013 at the Mayo Clinic. Anal pressures were determined by high-resolution manometry, anal sphincter and puborectalis injury was determined by endoanal MRI, and anal canal integrity was determined by torso MRI. Associations between manometric and anatomic parameters were evaluated with univariate and multivariate analyses.Fecal incontinence (55 patients; 46%) and constipation (36 patients; 30%) were the main indications for testing; 49 patients (41%) had a patulous anal canal, which was associated with injury to more than 1 muscle (all P ? .001), and internal sphincter (P < .01), but not puborectalis (P = .09) or external sphincter (P = .06), injury. Internal (P < .01) and external sphincter injury (P = .02) and a patulous canal (P < .001), but not puborectalis injury, predicted anal resting pressure. A patulous anal canal was the only significant predictor (P < .01) of the anal squeeze pressure increment.Patients with anorectal disorders commonly have a patulous anal canal, which is associated with more severe anal injury and independently predicted anal resting pressure and squeeze pressure increment. It therefore is important to identify a patulous anal canal because it appears to be a marker of not only anal sphincter injury but disturbances beyond sphincter injury, such as damage to the anal cushions or anal denervation.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:The gold standard of postpartum anal sphincter imaging has been the 3D endoanal ultrasound (EAUS). Development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has allowed anal sphincter evaluation without the use of endoanal coils. The aim of this study is to compare these two modalities in diagnosing residual sphincter lesions post obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI). METHODS:Forty women were followed up after primary repair of OASI with both 3D EAUS and external phased array MRI. Details of the anal sphincter injury and sphincter musculature were gathered and analysed. RESULTS:There was a moderate interrater reliability (??=?0.510) between the two imaging modalities in detecting sphincter lesions, with more lesions detected by MRI. There was a moderate intraclass correlation (ICC) between the circumference of the tear (??=?0.506) and a fair ICC between the external anal sphincter thickness measurements at locations 3 and 9 on the proctologic clock face (??=?0.320) and (??=?0.336). CONCLUSIONS:The results of our study indicate that the use of external phased array MRI is feasible for detecting obstetric anal sphincter lesions postpartum. This allows for imaging of the sphincter defects in centres where EAUS imaging is not available. KEY POINTS:• A two centre prospective study that showed external phased array MRI to be a valid imaging modality for diagnosing obstetric anal sphincter injuries.
Project description:There is a need for a lower cost manometry system for assessing anorectal function in primary and secondary care settings. We developed an index finger-based system (termed "digital manometry") and tested it in healthy volunteers, patients with chronic constipation, and fecal incontinence. Anorectal pressures were measured in 16 participants with the digital manometry system and a 23-channel high-resolution anorectal manometry system. The results were compared using a Bland-Altman analysis at rest as well as during maximum squeeze and simulated defecation maneuvers. Myoelectric activity of the puborectalis muscle was also quantified simultaneously using the digital manometry system. The limits of agreement between the two methods were -7.1 ± 25.7 mmHg for anal sphincter resting pressure, 0.4 ± 23.0 mmHg for the anal sphincter pressure change during simulated defecation, -37.6 ± 50.9 mmHg for rectal pressure changes during simulated defecation, and -20.6 ± 172.6 mmHg for anal sphincter pressure during the maximum squeeze maneuver. The change in the puborectalis myoelectric activity was proportional to the anal sphincter pressure increment during a maximum squeeze maneuver (slope = 0.6, R2 = 0.4). Digital manometry provided a similar evaluation of anorectal pressures and puborectalis myoelectric activity at an order of magnitude less cost than high-resolution manometry, and with a similar level of patient comfort. Digital Manometry provides a simple, inexpensive, point of service means of assessing anorectal function in patients with chronic constipation and fecal incontinence.
Project description:Many tests are available to assist in the diagnosis and management of fecal incontinence. Imaging studies such as endoanal ultrasonography and defecography provide an anatomic and functional picture of the anal canal which can be useful, especially in the setting of planned sphincter repair. Physiologic tests including anal manometry and anal acoustic reflexometry provide objective data regarding functional values of the anal canal. The value of this information is of some debate; however, as we learn more about these methods, they may prove useful in the future. Finally, nerve studies, such as pudendal motor nerve terminal latency, evaluate the function of the innervation of the anal canal. This has been shown to have significant prognostic value and can help guide clinical decision making. Significant advances have also happened in the field, with the relatively recent advent of magnetic resonance defecography and high-resolution anal manometry, which provide even greater objective anatomic and physiologic information about the anal canal and its function.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Perianal Crohn's disease is a disabling condition, with little known about anorectal function in healed/inactive perianal Crohn's disease; Aim: To evaluate anorectal function in a cohort of patients with treated/healed perianal Crohn's disease; Methods: Prospective cohort study, including high-resolution anorectal manometry, balloon expulsion test, and 3D-endoanal ultrasound in all patients; Results: Of the 16 patients studied (mean age ± SD, 42 ± 13 years), 12 (75%) were men. A laceration of the internal anal sphincter and/or anal scarring was seen in nine (56%) patients; there was no laceration of the external anal sphincter. Five (56%) of these nine patients had never experienced faecal incontinence. All had normal anal resting and squeeze pressures. Manometry suggested dyssynergia in 11 (69%) patients, with only one (6%) fulfilling the criteria for obstructed defecation. Hyposensitivity for at least one sensory parameter was seen in 11 (69%) patients and hypersensitivity in five (31%) patients; Conclusions: This study detected sphincter abnormalities in more than half of patients, many of whom were asymptomatic. Alterations in rectal sensation were frequently seen, more commonly with rectal hyposensitivity.<h4>Trial registration</h4>ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT03819257).
Project description:Anal incontinence is a devastating condition that significantly reduces the quality of life. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of human adipose stem cell (hASC) injections in a rat model for anal sphincter injury, which is the main cause of anal incontinence in humans. Furthermore, we tested if the efficacy of hASCs could be improved by combining them with polyacrylamide hydrogel carrier, Bulkamid. Human ASCs derived from a female donor were culture expanded in DMEM/F12 supplemented with human platelet lysate. Female virgin Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into four groups (n?=?14-15/group): hASCs in saline or Bulkamid (3 × 105 /60 ?l) and saline or Bulkamid without cells. Anorectal manometry (ARM) was performed before anal sphincter injury, at two (n?=?58) and at four weeks after (n?=?33). Additionally, the anal sphincter tissue was examined by micro-computed tomography (?CT) and the histological parameters were compared between the groups. The median resting and peak pressure during spontaneous contraction measured by ARM were significantly higher in hASC treatment groups compared with the control groups without hASCs. There was no statistical difference in functional results between the hASC-carrier groups (saline vs. Bulkamid). No difference was detected in the sphincter muscle continuation between the groups in the histology and ?CT analysis. More inflammation was discovered in the group receiving saline with hASC. The hASC injection therapy with both saline and Bulkamid is a promising nonsurgical treatment for acute anal sphincter injury. Traditional histology combined with the 3D ?CT image data lends greater confidence in assessing muscle healing and continuity. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2018;7:295-304.
Project description:Video-assisted anal fistula treatment (VAAFT) may have a recurrence rate comparable to that of fistulectomy and sphincter repair (FSR) in the treatment of high anal fistula and with potential advantages in wound healing, functional outcome and quality of life. The aim and objectives of the study are to compare the outcome of VAAFT with that of FSR for high cryptoglandular anal fistula. This was a single-centre randomized controlled trial of adults with high anal fistula comparing FSR with VAAFT. Primary outcome was fistula recurrence. Secondary outcomes were results of anal manometry, quality of life and faecal continence. A power calculation of 33 patients in each arm (1 : 1) was based on recurrence in the FSR and VAAFT groups of 5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively. Follow-up at 6 months after surgery included physical examination, MRI, anal manometry, quality-of-life assessment (RAND SF 36 questionnaire) and faecal-continence assessment (Wexner score). The study was terminated early due to high recurrence rates in both groups. A total of 45 patients were included. Recurrence rates were 65 per cent for VAAFT and 27 per cent for FSR, with hazard ratio 4.18 (P = 0.016). Length of the fistula was a risk factor with an association with recurrence (hazard ratio 1.8, P = 0.020). There were significant differences in quality of life in favour of FSR and in anal manometry in favour of VAAFT with a significant improvement in Wexner score in both groups. FSR was associated with a lower recurrence rate than VAAFT in the management of complex anal fistulae in this single-centre study but the study was terminated early due to higher than predicted recurrence rate in both groups. NCT02585167 (http://www.clinicaltrials.org).
Project description:The external anal sphincter (EAS) may be injured in 25-35% of women during the first and subsequent vaginal childbirths and is likely the most common cause of anal incontinence. Since its first description almost 300 years ago, the EAS was believed to be a circular or a "donut-shaped" structure. Using three-dimensional transperineal ultrasound imaging, MRI, diffusion tensor imaging, and muscle fiber tracking, we delineated various components of the EAS and their muscle fiber directions. These novel imaging techniques suggest "purse-string" morphology, with "EAS muscles" crossing contralaterally in the perineal body to the contralateral transverse perineal (TP) and bulbospongiosus (BS) muscles, thus attaching the EAS to the pubic rami. Spin-tag MRI demonstrated purse-string action of the EAS muscle. Electromyography of TP/BS and EAS muscles revealed their simultaneous contraction and relaxation. Lidocaine injection into the TP/BS muscle significantly reduced anal canal pressure. These studies support purse-string morphology of the EAS to constrict/close the anal canal opening. Our findings have implications for the effect of episiotomy on anal closure function and the currently used surgical technique (overlapping sphincteroplasty) for EAS reconstructive surgery to treat anal incontinence.
Project description:Wnt-? catenin is an important signaling pathway in the genesis of fibrosis in many organ systems. Our goal was to examine the role of Wnt pathway in the external anal sphincter (EAS) injury-related fibrosis and muscle dysfunction. New Zealand White female rabbits were subjected to surgical EAS myotomy and administered local injections of either a Wnt antagonist (sFRP-2; daily for 7 days) or saline. Anal canal pressure and EAS length-tension (L-T) were measured for 15 weeks after which the animals were sacrificed. Anal canal was harvested and processed for histochemical studies (Masson trichrome stain), molecular markers of fibrosis (collagen and transforming growth factor-?) and immunostaining for ? catenin. Surgical myotomy of the EAS resulted in significant impairment in anal canal pressure and EAS muscle L-T function. Following myotomy, the EAS muscle was replaced with fibrous tissue. Immunostaining revealed ? catenin activation and molecular studies revealed 1.5-2 fold increase in the levels of markers of fibrosis. Local injection of sFRP-2 attenuated the ? catenin activation and fibrosis. EAS muscle content and function was significantly improved following sFRP-2 treatment. Our studies suggest that upregulation of Wnt signaling is an important molecular mechanism of injury related EAS muscle fibrosis and sphincter dysfunction.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Acute, severe traumatic spinal cord injury often causes fecal incontinence. Currently, there are no treatments to improve anal function after traumatic spinal cord injury. Our study aims to determine whether, after traumatic spinal cord injury, anal function can be improved by interventions in the neuro-intensive care unit to alter the spinal cord perfusion pressure at the injury site.<h4>Methods</h4>We recruited a cohort of patients with acute, severe traumatic spinal cord injuries (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale grades A-C). They underwent surgical fixation within 72 h of the injury and insertion of an intrathecal pressure probe at the injury site to monitor intraspinal pressure and compute spinal cord perfusion pressure as mean arterial pressure minus intraspinal pressure. Injury-site monitoring was performed at the neuro-intensive care unit for up to a week after injury. During monitoring, anorectal manometry was also conducted over a range of spinal cord perfusion pressures.<h4>Results</h4>Data were collected from 14 patients with consecutive traumatic spinal cord injury aged 22-67 years. The mean resting anal pressure was 44 cmH<sub>2</sub>O, which is considerably lower than the average for healthy patients, previously reported at 99 cmH<sub>2</sub>O. Mean resting anal pressure versus spinal cord perfusion pressure had an inverted U-shaped relation (Ȓ<sup>2</sup> = 0.82), with the highest resting anal pressures being at a spinal cord perfusion pressure of approximately 100 mmHg. The recto-anal inhibitory reflex (transient relaxation of the internal anal sphincter during rectal distension), which is important for maintaining fecal continence, was present in 90% of attempts at high (90 mmHg) spinal cord perfusion pressure versus 70% of attempts at low (60 mmHg) spinal cord perfusion pressure (P < 0.05). During cough, the rise in anal pressure from baseline was 51 cmH<sub>2</sub>O at high (86 mmHg) spinal cord perfusion pressure versus 37 cmH<sub>2</sub>O at low (62 mmHg) spinal cord perfusion pressure (P < 0.0001). During anal squeeze, higher spinal cord perfusion pressure was associated with longer endurance time and spinal cord perfusion pressure of 70-90 mmHg was associated with stronger squeeze. There were no complications associated with anorectal manometry.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our data indicate that spinal cord injury causes severe disruption of anal sphincter function. Several key components of anal continence (resting anal pressure, recto-anal inhibitory reflex, and anal pressure during cough and squeeze) markedly improve at higher spinal cord perfusion pressure. Maintaining too high of spinal cord perfusion pressure may worsen anal continence.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Anismus is thought to be a cause of chronic constipation by producing outlet obstruction. The underlying mechanism is paradoxical contraction of the anal sphincter or puborectalis muscle. However, paradoxical sphincter contraction (PSC) also occurs in healthy controls, so anismus may be diagnosed too often because it may be based on a non-specific finding related to untoward conditions during the anorectal examination. AIMS: To investigate the pathophysiological importance of PSC found at anorectal manometry in constipated patients and in patients with stool incontinence. METHODS: Digital rectal examination and anorectal manometry were performed in 102 chronically constipated patients, 102 patients with stool incontinence, and in 18 controls without anorectal disease. In 120 of the 222 subjects defaecography was also performed. Paradoxical sphincter contraction was defined as a sustained increase in sphincter pressure during straining. Anismus was assumed when PSC was present on anorectal manometry and digital rectal examination and the anorectal angle did not widen on defaecography. RESULTS: Manometric PSC occurred about twice as often in constipated patients as in incontinent patients (41.2% versus 25.5%, p < 0.017) and its prevalence was similar in incontinent patients and controls (25.5% versus 22.2%). Oroanal or rectosigmoid transit times in constipated patients with and without PSC did not differ significantly (total 64.6 (8.9) hours versus 54.2 (8.1) hours; rectosigmoid 14.9 (2.4) hours versus 13.8 (2.5) hours). CONCLUSIONS: Paradoxical sphincter contraction is a common finding in healthy controls as well as in patients with chronic constipation and stool incontinence. Hence, PSC is primarily a laboratory artefact and true anismus is rare.