Clinical utility of colonic and anorectal manometry in chronic constipation

Satish S.C. Rao, Siddharth Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in North America with significant psychosocioeconomic implications. It is caused by either a primary disorder of colonic and anorectal function or by many secondary conditions such as constipating drugs, metabolic disorders and other colorectal problems. Given the heterogeneity of problems that cause constipation, defining the underlying pathophysiology is increasingly being recognized as a key step toward optimal management. Colonic manometry with sensation and tone assessment (barostat) and anorectal manometry with rectal sensation and compliance assessment and balloon expulsion test can provide a comprehensive evaluation of colonic and anorectal sensorimotor function and facilitate a diagnosis of slow transit constipation, dyssynergic defecation or irritable bowel syndrome, or an overlap of these disorders. This review provides a critical appraisal of the role of manometric techniques toward augmenting our understanding of colonic and anorectal physiology, both in health and constipation and discussing their clinical utility in the diagnosis and management of chronic constipation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-609
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • anorectal manometry
  • barostat
  • colonic manometry
  • constipation
  • dyssynergic defecation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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