Comparative study between biofeedback retraining and botulinum neurotoxin in the treatment of anismus patients
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Anismus is a significant cause of chronic constipation. This study came to revive the results of BFB training and BTX-A injection in the treatment of anismus patients.
Materials and methods
Forty-eight patients with anismus (33 women; mean age 39.6 ± 15.9) were included in this study. All patients fulfilled Rome II criteria for functional constipation. All patients underwent anorectal manometry, balloon expulsion test, defecography, and electromyography (EMG) activity of the EAS. All patients had non-relaxing puborectalis muscle. The patients were randomized into two groups. Group I patients received biofeedback therapy, two times per week for about 1 month. Group II patients were injected with BTX-A. Follow-up was conducted weekly in the first month then monthly for about 1 year.
In the BFB training group, three patients quit before the end of sessions with no improvement; initial improvement was recorded in 12 patients (50%) while long-term success was recorded in six patients (25%). In the BTX-A group, clinical improvement was recorded in 17 patients (70.83%), but the improvement persisted only in eight patients (33.3%). There is a significant difference between BTX-A group and BFB group regarding the initial success, but this significant difference disappeared at the end of follow-up. Manometric relaxation was achieved significantly post-BFB and post-BTX-A injection with no significant difference between the two groups.
Biofeedback training has a limited therapeutic effect on patients suffering from anismus. BTX-A injection seems to be successful for temporary treatment of anismus.