Curbside Consultation of the Colon: 49 Clinical Questions

Brooks D. Cash, MD, FACP, CDR, MC, USN

Question 17: When Should A Patient Complaining Of Chronic Constipation Be Sent For Anorectal Manometry? (continued)

Erica Roberson, MD; Arnold Wald, MD

Patients who have failed conservative laxative therapy for constipation should undergo further evaluation, as symptoms alone do not determine underlying pathophysiology. Anorectal manometry is a helpful test to obtain as it provides insight on anorectal contributions to constipation (Figure 17-1). Specifically, manometry provides information about rectal motor and sensation functions to determine if a functional defecation disorder, such as dyssynergic defecation, or Hirschsprung disease is the cause of chronic constipation in patients who have failed conservative therapy.