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Minerva Pediatrica 2013 June;65(3):287-93

language: English

Transanal irrigation and intestinal transit time in children with myelomeningocele

Marte A., Borrelli M.

Pediatric Surgery, Naples, Italy


Aim: Myelomeningocele (MMC), among others functions, affects colorectal motility and bowel emptying, and often leads to constipation, faecal incontinence, or a combination of both. We investigated the benefits of transanal irrigation (TI) in children with MMC through the radiological study of intestinal transit time.
Methods: Sixteen patients aged 4 to 17 years with chronic constipation secondary to MMC resistant to conventional treatment were treated with transanal irrigation. The patients took radiopaque markers on three consecutive days. Seventy-two hours after ingestion of the first markers, the patients received abdominal X-rays before and after TI.
Results: The abdominal X-ray carried out before and after the procedure revealed a significant improvement in the progression of the intestinal bolus. The reduction in the number of markers present in the intestinal lumen after the procedure was significant (from 30±7.37 to 10.62±6.29, t=6.4323, P=0.0344).
Conclusion: In patients with bowel dysfunction secondary to MMC resistant to conventional treatments, TI has proven to be safe and effective in promoting intestinal emptying showing an improvement of the progression of the intestinal bolus.

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