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Dynamic transperineal ultrasound vs. defecography in patients with evacuatory difficulty: a pilot study

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Background and aims

Defecating proctography has been traditionally used to assess patients with evacuatory dysfunction. More recently, dynamic transperineal ultrasound has been described, defining the interaction between the infralevator viscera and the pelvic floor at rest and during straining. This study compared qualitative diagnosis and quantitative measurement obtained by defecography and dynamic transperineal ultrasonography in patients with evacuatory difficulty.

Patients and methods

Thirty-three women were examined using both techniques with both examiners blinded to the results of the other method. Quantitative measurement was made of rectocele depth, anorectal angle (at rest and during maximal straining) and anorectal junction position at rest and movement during straining.


There was good agreement for the diagnoses of rectocele, rectoanal intususseption, and rectal prolapse. Dynamic transperineal ultrasound was more likely than defecography to make multiple diagnoses or to diagnose an enterocele when a rectocele was present. There was no difference noted between the two techniques for the measurement of anorectal angle at rest, anorectal junction position at rest, or anorectal junction movement during straining. The mean anorectal angle during straining was 123.3±4.3° as measured by defecography and 116.4±3.3° as measured by dynamic transperineal ultrasound, nearly reaching statistical significance.


Dynamic transperineal ultrasound is a simple and accurate technique for assessment of the pelvic floor and soft-tissues in patients with evacuatory dysfunction.

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Correspondence to A. P. Zbar.

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Beer-Gabel, M., Teshler, M., Schechtman, E. et al. Dynamic transperineal ultrasound vs. defecography in patients with evacuatory difficulty: a pilot study. Int J Colorectal Dis 19, 60–67 (2004).

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