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Type: Journal article
Title: A retrospective study of the effects of pelvic irradiation for gynaecological cancer on anorectal function.
Author: Yeoh, E.
Sun, W.M.
Russo, A.
Ibanez, L.
Horowitz, M.
Citation: International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics, 1996; 35(5):1003-1010
Issue Date: 1996
ISSN: 0360-3016
Abstract: <h4>Purpose</h4>To evaluate the prevalence of anorectal dysfunction following therapeutic pelvic irradiation.<h4>Methods and materials</h4>Anorectal function was evaluated in 15 randomly selected patients (aged 47-84 years) who had received pelvic irradiation for treatment of carcinoma of the uterine body and cervix 5 and 10 years earlier. The following parameters were assessed in each patient: (a) anorectal symptoms (questionnaire), (b) anorectal pressures at rest and in response to rectal distension, voluntary squeeze, and increases in intraabdominal pressure (multiport anorectal manometry with concurrent electromyography of the anal sphincters), (c) rectal sensation (rectal balloon distension) and, (d) anal sphincteric morphology (ultrasound). Results were compared with those obtained in nine female control subjects.<h4>Results</h4>Ten of the 15 patients had urgency of defecation and 4 also suffered fecal incontinence. Basal anorectal pressures measured just proximal to the anal canal (p = 0.05) and anorectal pressures generated in response to voluntary squeeze measured at the anal canal were less (p < 0.01) in the patients. The fall in anal pressures in response to rectal distension was greater in the patients (p < 0.05) and the desire to defecate occurred at lower rectal volumes (p < 0.05). The slope of the pressure/volume relationship in response to rectal distension was greater (p < 0.05) in the patients, suggestive of a reduction in rectal compliance. In 14 of the 15 patients at least one parameter of anorectal motor function was outside the control range. There was no difference in the thickness of the anal sphincters between the two groups.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Abnormal anorectal function occurs frequently following pelvic irradiation for gynecological malignant diseases and is characterized by multiple dysfunctions including weakness of the external anal sphincter, stiffness of the rectal wall, and a consequent increase in rectal sensitivity.
Keywords: Humans
Endometrial Neoplasms
Fecal Incontinence
Retrospective Studies
Aged, 80 and over
Middle Aged
Anal Canal
Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
DOI: 10.1016/0360-3016(96)00147-2
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