Although care of urological disorders in spina bifida is well established, there is yet no agreement on a standardized approach to bowel dysfunction in this population.
The purpose of this study was to assess bowel dysfunction using validated instruments and the risk factors in adults with spina bifida.
A multidisciplinary team prospectively collected patient data, focusing on anorectal and urological symptoms.
The study was conducted with data from a French referral center for spina bifida.
A total of 228 adults with spina bifida (sex ratio men:women, 92 (40%):136 (60%)) with a median age of 34.7 years (range, 26.8–44.7 y) were assessed.
Factors associated with severe fecal incontinence (Cleveland Clinic Incontinence Score ≥9) and severe bowel dysfunction (Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction score ≥14) were assessed in a multivariate analysis model.
The prevalence rates of severe fecal incontinence and severe bowel dysfunction were 60% (130/217) and 42% (71/168). Bowel dysfunction was the second most common major concern of patients after lower urinary tract dysfunction. Male sex, obesity, urinary incontinence, and a Knowles–Eccersley–Scott symptom constipation score ≥10 were independently associated with severe fecal incontinence. Patients with soft stools had significantly less severe bowel dysfunction. Neither neurologic level nor other neurologic features of spina bifida were associated with severe fecal incontinence or severe bowel dysfunction.
The recruitment of patients with spina bifida through a national referral center might have resulted in selection bias, and some data were missing especially regarding BMI and Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction score (21% and 26% of missing data).
The prevalence rates of severe fecal incontinence and severe bowel dysfunction in adults with spina bifida were high and were adequately perceived by the patients. The present study emphasized the association of bowel dysfunction and fecal incontinence with obesity, urologic disorders, and stool consistency rather than neurologic features. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A394.
Supplemental Digital Content is available in the text.
1 Service des Maladies de l’Appareil Digestif, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Pontchaillou, Université de Rennes 1, Rennes, France
2 Service d’Explorations Fonctionnelles Digestives, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Pontchaillou, Université de Rennes 1, Rennes, France
3 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U1235, Université de Nantes, Nantes, France
4 Centre d’Investigation Clinique 1414, Inflammation and Physiology, Université de Rennes 1, Rennes, France
5 Service d’Urologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Pontchaillou, Rennes, France
6 Centre Référence National Maladies Rares Spina Bifida, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Pontchaillou, Rennes, France
7 Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U991, Université de Rennes, Rennes, France
Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text, and links to the digital files are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (www.dcrjournal.com).
Support/Funding: None reported.
Financial Disclosure: None reported.
Correspondence: Charlène Brochard, M.D., Service d’Explorations Fonctionnelles Digestives, 2 rue Henri le Guillou, 35033 Rennes Cedex, France. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org