Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dis Colon Rectum. 1993 Sep;36(9):806-9.

Defecographic findings in patients with anal incontinence and constipation and their relation to rectal emptying.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiology, Glostrup Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.



The aim of this study was to examine defecographic findings in patients with anal incontinence and constipation and to compare these findings with rectal emptying.


One hundred seventy-five preoperative defecographies documented on videotape in patients with either anal incontinence or constipation were retrospectively reviewed. The examinations were evaluated with respect to anatomic abnormalities of the rectum or anal canal. The results were compared with a semi-quantitative assessment of rectal emptying as it appeared on the video sequence after one minute of strain.


Anatomic abnormalities were found equally in incontinent and constipated patients, except for failure to open the anal canal, which was found only in constipated patients. Rectal intussusception was the most frequent finding. Abnormal defecograms were found in both sexes. Enteroceles, sigmoidoceles, and large rectoceles were found only in women. The presence of intussusception, lacking relaxation of the puborectalis muscle, and rectocele did not correlate with poor rectal emptying. Poor rectal emptying was also found in 19 of 58 patients with normal defecograms.


Anatomic abnormalities of the rectum may be demonstrated independently of the clinical symptoms and are not always correlated to impaired rectal emptying. Since they may also be found in healthy controls, surgical correction of these abnormalities should be considered only with great caution.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk