Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 561–564 | Cite as

Long-term follow-up of children with chronic idiopathic constipation

  • Annamaria Staiano
  • Maria Rosaria Andreotti
  • Luigi Greco
  • Paola Basile
  • Salvatore Auricchio
Original Articles


To determine the outcome of chronic idiopathic constipation, we followed 62 children with chronic idiopathic constipation (mean age: 5.2±2.8 years) for a period of five years. Each child received the same initial treatment over a 12-week period and was then followed every three months. After five years from diagnosis, chronic idiopathic constipation persisted in 52% of the children; 47% who remained symptomatic were >10 years old at the time of the five-year evaluation. Of the 27 who were constipated in the first year of life, 63% remained constipated after five years. Children who recovered within the five-year interval were significantly different from those that remained symptomatic in age of onset of constipation (P<0.05) and family history of constipation (P<0.05). After five years, both severity of abdominal pain and degree of soiling significantly decreased in both the recovered and unrecovered groups (P<0.05). This study suggests that chronic idiopathic constipation persists for ≥5 years in at least half of children. Early age of onset and family history of constipation are predictive of persistence. Abdominal pain and soiling improve in long-term follow-up irrespective of constipation outcome.

Key words

chronic idiopathic constipation abdominal pain soiling 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bentley JRF: Constipation in infants and children. Gut 12:85–90, 1971PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Meunier P, Marechal JM, De Beaujeau MJ: Rectoanal pressures and rectal sensitivity studies in chronic childhood constipation. Gastroenterology 77:330–336, 1979PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Levine MD: Children with encopresis: A descriptive analysis. Pediatrics 56:412–416, 1979Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Olatawura MO: Encopresis: A review of thirty-two cases. Acta Paediatr Scand 62:358–364, 1973PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davidson M, Kugler MM, Bauer CM: Diagnosis and management in children with severe and protracted constipation and obstipation. J Pediatr 62:261–275, 1963PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Abrahamian FP, Lloyd-Still JD: Chronic constipation in childhood: A longitudinal study of 186 patients. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 3:460–467, 1984PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Loening Baucke V: Abnormal rectoanal function in children recovered from chronic constipation and encopresis. Gastroenterology 87:1299–1304, 1984PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Corazziari E, Cucchiara S, Staiano A, et al: Gastrointestinal transit time, frequency of defection, and anorectal manometry in healthy and constipated children. J Pediatr 103:379–382, 1985Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Staiano A, Cucchiara S, Andreotti MR, Minella R, Manzi G: Effect of cisapride on chronic idiopathic constipation in children. Dig Dis Sci 36:733–736, 1991PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Wald A, Chandra R, Chiponis D, Gabel S: Anorectal function and continence mechanisms in childhood encopresis. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 5:346–351, 1986PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Staiano A, Andreotti MR, Perrotta V, Strisciuglio P: Prevalence of digital arches in children with abdominal pain and constipation. J. Pediatr 117:435–436, 1990PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Loening-Baucke VA: Factors responsible for persistence of childhood constipation. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 23:915–922, 1987Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Levine MD: Encopresis: its presentation, evaluation and alleviation. Pediatr Clin North Am 29:315–330, 1982PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Loening-Baucke V: Factors determining outcome in children with chronic constipation and faecal soiling. Gut 30:999–1006, 1989PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annamaria Staiano
    • 1
  • Maria Rosaria Andreotti
    • 1
  • Luigi Greco
    • 1
  • Paola Basile
    • 1
  • Salvatore Auricchio
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Department of Pediatrics, II School of MedicineUniversity of NaplesNaplesItaly

Personalised recommendations