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Acta Paediatr. 2006 Mar;95(3):369-74.

Tap-water enema for children with myelomeningocele and neurogenic bowel dysfunction.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Division of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden. sven.mattsson@lio.se

Abstract

AIM:

To evaluate the outcome of transrectal irrigation (TRI) using clean tap water without salt in children with myelomeningocele and neurogenic bowel problems.

METHODS:

40 children (21 boys and 19 girls; aged 10 mo to 11 y) with myelomeningocele and neurogenic bowel dysfunction were treated with TRI given by a stoma cone irrigation set daily or every second day. A questionnaire on the effects on faecal incontinence, constipation and self-management was completed by the parents, 4 mo-8 y (median 1.5 y) after start. Effects on rectal volume, anal sphincter pressure and plasma sodium were evaluated before and after the start of irrigation.

RESULTS:

At follow-up, 35 children remained on TRI, four had received appendicostomy, while one defecated normally. For all children but five (35/40; 85%) the procedure worked satisfactorily, but a majority found the procedure very time consuming and only one child was able to perform it independently. All children were free of constipation; most (35/40) were also anal continent. Rectal volume and anal sphincter pressure improved, while plasma sodium values remained within the normal range.

CONCLUSION:

Transrectal irrigation with tap water is a safe method to resolve constipation and faecal incontinence in children with myelomeningocele and neurogenic bowel dysfunction, but it does not help children to independence at the toilet.

PMID:
16497651
DOI:
10.1080/08035250500437507
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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