Epidemiologic Trends and Diagnostic Evaluation of Fecal Incontinence

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4 Scopus citations


Fecal incontinence (FI) is a prevalent condition that occurs in up to 15% of the Western population and significantly impairs quality of life. The current understanding of the epidemiology of FI is shifting because of an increasing recognition of FI in men, better appreciation for the impact of changing obstetric practices on FI in women, and comprehension of the effect of modifiable risk factors on the development of FI over time. The pathophysiology of FI is complex and multifactorial, which necessitates the use of multiple diagnostic tests, including tests of anorectal sensorimotor function, peripheral nerve function, and anatomic structure. Translumbosacral anorectal magnetic stimulation is an emerging noninvasive diagnostic test for assessing lumbosacral neuropathy. This article is not intended as a comprehensive recitation of the literature, but rather focuses on recent developments in the understanding of the epidemiology of FI, as well as on the diagnostic evaluation of this condition. This article aims to increase awareness of FI and to outline an initial diagnostic approach to affected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-309
Number of pages8
JournalGastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Fecal incontinence
  • High-resolution anorectal manometry
  • International Anorectal Physiology Working Group
  • London classification
  • Translumbosacral anorectal magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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