PURPOSE: PURPOSE:Many data suggest in irritable bowel syndrome a generalized smooth-muscle disorder, but data are scant concerning anal waves in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. The aim of the present study was first to propose a new method of anal pressure-wave analysis and second to apply this method to patients with irritable bowel syndrome.
METHODS: METHODS:Spectral analysis was used in 20 healthy controls and 60 patients with irritable bowel syndrome to investigate anal pressure waves at rest during a standard anorectal test and during a maintained 12-ml anal distention.
RESULTS: RESULTS:Adaptation of the anal canal to maintained distention was similar in the two groups of subjects. Using a cluster analysis, three groups of anal waves were defined (in cycles per minute): ultra slow waves (0.9-3.3), slow waves (3.8-16.4), and simple waves (16.9-23). In the resting state only simple waves were found less prevalent in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. During maintained distention, ultra slow waves increase in both groups, but slow waves increase in patients with irritable bowel syndrome and simple waves decrease in controls.
CONCLUSIONS: CONCLUSIONS:Characterization of anal pressure waves is a simple procedure that is easy to perform in outpatients. Anal pressure waves of patients with irritable bowel syndrome have altered organization and respond differently to distention as compared with controls.
Published in part as an abstract in Gastroenterology 1998;114:G3030A.
© The ASCRS 1999