The reproducibility of tests widely utilized to assess anorectal sensorimotor functions is not well established. Our aims were to assess the intra-individual day-to-day reproducibility of these parameters in healthy subjects. Anal sphincter pressures were assessed by perfusion manometry on two separate days in 19 healthy subjects. Rectal pressure-volume (p-v) curves and sensory thresholds were assessed in 12/19 subjects by inflating a highly compliant polyethylene balloon from 0 to 32 mmHg in 4 mmHg steps. Subjects also rated intensity of perception by visual analogue scale (VAS) during phasic distentions 8, 16 and 24 mmHg above operating pressure, in randomized sequence. Resting and squeeze anal pressures and rectal compliance were highly reproducible (rs ≥ 0.7) in the same subject on separate days. Pressure thresholds for urgency appeared less reproducible than thresholds for initial perception and the desire to defecate. VAS scores were highly reproducible only during the 24-mmHg distention. Thus, anal pressures and rectal compliance are highly reproducible within healthy subjects on separate days, while sensory thresholds are reproducible to a variable degree, dependent on the intensity of stimulation and the perception being assessed.
- Anal pressures
- Rectal sensation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems