Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome (SRUS) is said to be rare in children (largest series so far; 55 in children, 116 in adults). We analyzed our experience to look at its clinical presentations, endoscopic appearance, and treatment outcome in a large cohort of children.
Clinical and endoscopic data were collected between 2000 and 2018. Children (18 years or younger) diagnosed to have SRUS on colonoscopy and confirmed by histopathology were included. All children with SRUS were treated with behavioral modification, bulk laxative. Most with ulcer received steroid enema and some sulfasalazine or sucralfate enema.
The median age of 140 children was 12 (interquartile range [IQR]: 10–14) years, 79% were boys. The median symptom duration was 21 (IQR: 9–36) months. Rectal bleeding was the presenting feature in 131 (93.6%); constipation in 38 (27%); and small, frequent stools in 79 (56%). Most children had features of dyssynergic defecation such as prolonged sitting in the toilet (131, 93.6%), excessive straining (138, 98.6%), a feeling of incomplete evacuation (130, 92.8%), and rectal digitation (71, 50.7%). Rectal prolapse was noted in 24 (17%) cases. Colonoscopy documented rectal ulcer in 101 (72%) [Single: 84]. Over a median follow-up of 6 (IQR: 4–18) months, 27 patients were lost to follow-up and of the remaining 113 cases, 71 (62.8%) showed clinical improvement (healing of ulcer documented in 36/82, 44%).
The majority of cases of SRUS presented in second decade with rectal bleeding and features of dyssynergic defecation. Ulcer was noted in three fourths of cases. The outcome of medical treatment with behavioral modification and local therapy was modest.