Gastrointestinal Radiology > Procedures > Defecography > Defecography (18)

Defecography (cont.)

Clinical Significance of Defecography

  • Defecography alone provides only a visual record of events taking place during rectal evacuation.
  • Further understanding of the pathophysiology of defecation also requires manometric and electromyographic data from these patients.
  • Performing detailed radiographic measurements has little clinical significance because there is such a wide range of normal values. Also, there is high inter- and intra-observer inconsistency in the measurements.
  • To further confound things, many of the the seemingly important findings identified in symptomatic patients may also be seen in normal subjects.
  • Thus, defecographic measurements and observations should be interpreted with caution and should not be used as the only criteria for treatment. Several recent reports have indicated that the results of defecography did not alter selection of medical or surgical therapy, and had little impact on patient response to therapy.
  • There is fragmentation of the patient care of pelvic floor disorders among gynecologists, urologists, and colorectal surgeons. An interdisciplinary approach involving these specialists, gastroenterologists, neurologists, and radiologists should greatly increase our understanding and ability to manage pelvic floor problems.

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