Nonrelaxing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction Is an Underestimated Complication of Ileal Pouch-Anal Anastomosis

Kevin P. Quinn, Chung Sang Tse, Amy Lightner, Richard S. Pendegraft, Felicity T Enders, Laura E. H. Raffals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Nonrelaxing pelvic floor dysfunction (N-RPFD), or dyssynergic defecation, is the paradoxical contraction and/or impaired relaxation of pelvic floor and anal muscles during defecation. Few studies have evaluated this disorder in patients with an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA). We investigated the frequency of N-RPFD in patients with and without chronic pouchitis following IPAA and the effectiveness of biofeedback therapy within this population. Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of all patients with an IPAA who underwent anorectal manometry between January 2000 and March 2015 (n = 111). N-RPFD was diagnosed in patients with symptoms consistent with a pouch evacuation disorder and 1 or more of the following abnormal tests: anorectal manometry, balloon expulsion test, barium or magnetic resonance defecography, or external anal sphincter electromyography. Patients who completed biofeedback therapy were identified and assessed to determine symptomatic response. Results: Of the 111 patients evaluated, 83 (74.8%) met criteria for N-RPFD. A significantly higher proportion of patients with chronic pouchitis were diagnosed with N-RPFD than patients without chronic pouchitis (83.3% vs 62.2%, respectively; P = .012). Most patients diagnosed with N-RPFD had abnormal results from the balloon expulsion test (78.3%); 53.0% of patients diagnosed with N-RPFD had abnormal findings from external anal sphincter electromyography, 25.3% had abnormal defecography findings, and 20.5% had abnormal findings from anorectal manometry. Twenty-two patients completed biofeedback therapy: 15 patients (68.2%) had mild-moderate improvement and 5 patients (22.7%) had significant improvement of symptoms. Conclusions: N-RPFD occurs in almost 75% of patients with an IPAA, especially in patients with chronic pouchitis. Biofeedback seems to be an effective therapy for patients with an IPAA and N-RPFD, but further studies are needed for validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2017


  • Defecatory Disorder
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Pouch Dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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