© 2008 SAGE Publications. Objective To evaluate clinical and manometric characteristics of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with anorectal dysfunction (ARD) and their influence on biofeedback outcome. Patients and methods Patients were clinically and manometrically studied and compared with controls. Patients were subsequently offered to initiate biofeedback manoeuvres to improve ARD. Results Fifty-two patients with ARD, 39 women, mean age 44.96 ± 9.26 years, mean Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.13 ± 1.72, were evaluated. Thirty-one patients had relapsing-remitting (RR), 16 secondary progressive and five primary progressive MS. ARD complaints were constipation (67.3%), double ARD (23.1%) and isolated incontinence (9.6%). The manometric study showed significant differences in patients compared with controls in maximal contraction pressures (98.1 ± 44.2 mm Hg versus 152.05 ± 66.9 mm Hg, P < 0.001) and anal inhibitory reflex threshold (92.9 ± 63.4 mL versus 40.45 ± 11.3 mL, P < 0.001). Maximal pressure was lower in progressive forms compared with RR forms (83.1 ± 36.2 mm Hg versus 108.2 ± 46.7 mm Hg, P < 0.05) in relation to higher disability. Patients with paradoxical contraction (PC) (35 patients, 67.3%) showed more manometric disturbances. From a total of 18 patients performing biofeedback, those reporting some improvement (six complete, two partial) had milder manometric abnormalities. Conclusions The most frequent manometric abnormalities in our MS patients with ARD were alterations of maximal pressures, anal inhibitory reflex and PC. Biofeedback could be more useful in patients with lower disability and manometric alterations.
- anorectal dysfunction
- multiple sclerosis