Diagnostic testing for fecal incontinence

Craig H. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Many tests are available to assist in the diagnosis and management of fecal incontinence. Imaging studies such as endoanal ultrasonography and defecography provide an anatomic and functional picture of the anal canal which can be useful, especially in the setting of planned sphincter repair. Physiologic tests including anal manometry and anal acoustic reflexometry provide objective data regarding functional values of the anal canal. The value of this information is of some debate; however, as we learn more about these methods, they may prove useful in the future. Finally, nerve studies, such as pudendal motor nerve terminal latency, evaluate the function of the innervation of the anal canal. This has been shown to have significant prognostic value and can help guide clinical decision making. Significant advances have also happened in the field, with the relatively recent advent of magnetic resonance defecography and high-resolution anal manometry, which provide even greater objective anatomic and physiologic information about the anal canal and its function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalClinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • anal manometry
  • endoanal ultrasonography
  • fecal incontinence
  • pudendal nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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