A single-chamber pressure probe for rectal electromanometry was developed which seems to be superior to the complicated multichamber systems not only for clinical but also for experimental purposes. Measurements of rectoanal reflex were carried out in 268 cases with abnormal bowel function, in 103 cases following operation for Hirschsprung's disease, and in 61 cases of imperforate anus to assess postoperative continence. Experimental studies were performed in 36 dogs, 27 of which were used for short-term and 9 for long-term studies. The results of clinical and experimental studies are described and discussed, with accompanying literature. From clinical and experimental studies, the neuronal pathways of the rectoanal reflex are schematized. The normal rectoanal reflex is mediated by both the sacral cord and the myenteric neurons. It is concluded that measurements of the anal resting pressure and the rectoanal reflex constitute a valuable method to distinguish between normal and pathological sacral and myenteric innervation.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Progress in pediatric surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|