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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Clinical and Enteric Neuroscience Translational and Epidemiological Research Program (CENTER), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Chronic constipation is a common disorder manifested by a variety of symptoms. Assessments of colonic transit and anorectal functions are used to categorize constipated patients into three groups, i.e., normal transit or irritable bowel syndrome, pelvic floor dysfunction (i.e., functional defaecatory disorders) and slow transit constipation. 'Slow transit' constipation is a clinical syndrome attributed to ineffective colonic propulsion and/or increased resistance to propagation of colonic contents. Defaecatory disorders are caused by insufficient relaxation of the pelvic floor muscles or a failure to generate adequate propulsive forces during defaecation. Colonic transit is often delayed in patients with functional defaecatory disorders. Normal and slow transit constipation are generally managed with medications; surgery is necessary for a minority of patients with slow transit constipation. Functional defaecatory disorders are primarily treated with pelvic floor retraining using biofeedback therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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