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Imaging of Fecal Incontinence

  • Andrea Maier
  • Tracy L. Hull
  • Giulio A. Santoro

Abstract

Fecal incontinence, the inability to deliberately control the anal sphincter, is a common disease and may affect up to 20% of the age group above 65 years [1]. Fecal incontinence has a substantial impact on quality of life. It is a socially disabling problem that prevents up to one third of patients from seeking medical advice for it. The most common causes include traumatic (obstetric, surgical) sphincter defects, neurogenic dysfunction of the musculature of the pelvic floor, and rectal prolapse. The prevalence of fecal incontinence in women is eight times higher than in men [2]. The most common cause in women is child-birth, during which the sphincter muscles are commonly damaged [3 4 5]. Traumatic rupture of the anal sphincters may result in immediate-onset fecal incontinence. Pudendal neuropathy, caused by stretching the branches of the pudendal nerve to the sphincter and levator ani as the fetal head pushes down on the pelvic floor to dilate the introitus, leads to delayed-onset incontinence. Following vaginal delivery, the pudendal nerve terminal motor latencies (PNTML) are increased for about 6 months, and there is a fall in squeeze pressure regardless of sphincter damage [6].

Keywords

Pelvic Floor Fecal Incontinence Anal Sphincter Anal Canal Rectal Prolapse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Maier
  • Tracy L. Hull
  • Giulio A. Santoro

There are no affiliations available

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