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Pediatr Surg Int. 2009 Jan;25(1):41-5. doi: 10.1007/s00383-008-2293-7. Epub 2008 Nov 28.

Preliminary evaluation of anorectal manometry in diagnosing Hirschsprung's disease in neonates.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Children's Hospital of Fudan University, 399 Wan Yuan Road, 201102, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.



The aim of this paper was to assess the clinical value of anorectal manometry (ARMM) in the diagnosing of Hirschsprung's disease (HD) in neonates.


From January 2003 to June 2005, 75 patients in whom HD was clinically suspected were analyzed. ARMM was performed using a desk, high rate gastrointestinal dynamic detection system and the results were compared with barium enema and rectal suction biopsy.


Based on rectal suction biopsies in 52 of 75 patients, the positive, false positive, negative, and false negative rates of ARMM in the diagnosis of HD in neonates were found to be 92.3, 1.9, 1.9, and 3.8%, respectively. Forty-three of 75 patients were diagnosed with HD by both ARMM and barium enema and the diagnoses were validated by pathologic results. The diagnosis of HD was excluded in 18 patients in whom HD was clinically suspected, but in whom the results of ARMM and barium enema were normal. Twelve patients who had ARMM results consistent with HD and a negative barium enema, had serial ARMM performed; a rectoanal inhibitory reflex (RAIR) was elicited in four patients, thereby excluding HD and the remaining eight patients were diagnosed with HD by review of barium enema and pathologic results. One of two patients with a positive barium enema for HD, but an ARMM showing the presence of RAIR was excluded by pathologic results and the other patient was lost to follow-up. The diagnostic accuracies of ARMM and barium enema for HD in neonates were 93.3 and 86.7%, respectively. There was no difference in rectal resting pressure and anal rhythmic wave frequency between neonates with HD and healthy neonates, but neonates with HD had higher anal sphincter pressures than healthy neonates (P=0.0074).


ARMM is a simple, safe, and non-invasive method with high specificity for the diagnosis of HD in neonates.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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