Manometric and Electromyographic Techniques for Assessment of the Anorectal Mechanism for Continence and Defecation

  • William E. Whitehead
  • Marvin M. Schuster


There are several reasons for concerning oneself with the accurate measurement of physiological responses in the anal canal and rectum. The anorectal area provides a critical interface between the external, social, and physical environment and the internal, biological environment. Society places considerable importance on the self-control of defecation, and the assessment and treatment of incontinence is therefore important. In addition, this part of the gastrointestinal tract is well supplied with visceral afferent nerves which give rise to subjective and reflex control: This provides a unique opportunity to study the mechanism by which self-regulation of a visceral response is achieved. This chapter will summarize what is known of the anatomy and physiology of the anorectal area and will describe the advantages and disadvantages of various measurement techniques.


Fecal Incontinence Anal Sphincter Anal Canal External Anal Sphincter Internal Anal Sphincter 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • William E. Whitehead
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marvin M. Schuster
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryThe Johns Hopkins School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineBaltimore City HospitalBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Division of Digestive DiseasesBaltimore City HospitalBaltimoreUSA

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