Chronic constipation and the resultant problem of encopresis are common in the pediatrie population. The clinician must have a good understanding of both organic and functional disorders to effectively diagnose and manage these cases. This issue of Pediatrie Annals focuses on childhood constipation, its associated problems, and its management.
Drs. Nowicki and Bishop address the extremely important problem of organic causes of constipation in children. The ability to diagnose, treat, or exclude organic disorders is essential for any physician confronted with these patients.
The problem of bowel dysfunction in the neurologically impaired child is difficult and often frustrating. Drs. Bishop and Nowicki provide an approach to handling these difficulties.
The evaluation and treatment of the majority of children with chronic constipation and encopresis requires effective communication with UHe family and long-term therapy. I have provided a common sense method for dealing with these problems in my article.
A number of associated problems may occur with chronic constipation. Drs. Guerrero and Cavender give a comprehensive review of these conditions.
The child with encopresis often has significant behavioral problems, psychological problems, or both. These may be either a primary or a secondary abnormality. The diagnosis and management of these cases is discussed by Dr. Buttress.
In two concise presentations, a radiologie perspective and a pharmacologie perspective of childhood constipation are provided by Drs. Dautenhahn and Blumenthal and Drs. Lowe and Parks, respectively.
I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to have worked with these contributing editors and hope we have provided useful information for the busy clinician.