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Clin Exp Gastroenterol. 2014 Mar 11;7:47-52. doi: 10.2147/CEG.S55410. eCollection 2014.

Serotonin (5-HT3) receptor antagonists for the reduction of symptoms of low anterior resection syndrome.

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1
Department of Surgery, Teikyo University Chiba Medical Center, Anesaki, Ichihara, Chiba, Japan.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT])3 receptor antagonists are effective for the treatment of diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D), in which exaggerated intestinal/colonic hypermotility is often observed. Recent studies have suggested that the motility disorder, especially spastic hypermotility, seen in the neorectum following sphincter-preserving operations for rectal cancer may be the basis of the postoperative defecatory malfunction seen in these patients. We investigated the efficacy of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists in patients suffering from severe low anterior resection syndrome.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

A total of 25 male patients with complaints of uncontrollable urgency or fecal incontinence following sphincter-preserving operations were enrolled in this study. Defecatory status, assessed on the basis of incontinence score (0-20), urgency grade (0-3), and number of toilet visits per day, was evaluated using a questionnaire before and 1 month after the administration of the 5-HT3 antagonist ramosetron.

RESULTS:

All the parameters assessed improved significantly after taking ramosetron for 1 month. The effect was more prominent in cases whose anastomotic line was lower, ie, inside the anal canal. Defecatory function was better in patients who commenced ramosetron therapy within 6 months postoperatively, as compared to those who were not prescribed ramosetron for more than 7 months postoperatively.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that 5-HT3 antagonists are effective for the treatment of low anterior resection syndrome, as in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. The improvement in symptoms is not merely time dependent, but it is related to treatment with 5-HT3 antagonists.

KEYWORDS:

ISR; defecatory malfunction; low anterior resection syndrome; serotonin receptor antagonist

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