Pediatric Colorectal Disorders

  • Carlo Di Lorenzo


Approximately 5% of all visits to pediatricians and up to 30% of referrals to pediatric gastroenterologists involve children with a disorder of defecation. Abnormal stooling is invariably a source of great anxiety for parents and may be quite distressing for the affected child. Chronic fecal incontinence is particularly devastating for the child’s self esteem and for the parent-child interaction. One must remember that constipation and fecal incontinence are symptoms that can be caused by many different diseases. A plethora of organic disorders has been associated with constipation and/or fecal incontinence, but in the majority of cases children presenting with these symptoms suffer from functional constipation which may lead to fecal soiling. Childhood functional constipation differs significantly from constipation in adults. The diagnostic evaluation, differential diagnosis and treatment should be tailored to the pediatric population, because tests or therapies commonly used in adults may be unhelpful or even counterproductive in a constipated child (1).


External Anal Sphincter Internal Anal Sphincter Anorectal Manometry Functional Constipation Spinal Dysraphism 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Di Lorenzo
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PittsburghChildren’s Hospital of PittsburghUSA

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