Novel insights into fecal incontinence in men

Yoav Mazor*, Michael Jones, Alison Andrews, John E. Kellow, Allison Malcolm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fecal incontinence (FI) in men is common, yet data on sex differences in clinical features, physiology, and treatment are scarce. Our aim was to provide insights into FI in males compared with females. Prospectively collected data from 73 men and 596 women with FI in a tertiary referral center were analyzed. Anorectal physiology, clinical characteristics, and outcome of instrumented biofeedback (BF) were recorded. Thirty-one men with FI proceeded to BF and were matched with 62 age-matched women with FI who underwent BF. Men with FI had higher resting, squeeze, and cough anal sphincter pressures (P <0.001) and were more able to hold a sustained squeeze compared with women (P <0.04). Men with FI had higher rectal pressure and less inadequate rectal pressure on strain and higher sensory thresholds (P <0.05). Men, but not women, with isolated soiling had higher anal resting and squeeze pressures compared with those with overt FI (P <0.05). Men were less likely to undergo BF when offered compared with women. Baseline symptom severity did not differ between the groups. In men, the absence of an organic cause for the FI and the presence of overt FI, but not isolated soiling, were correlated with improvement in patient satisfaction following BF. The outcomes of 50% reduction in FI episodes, physician assessment, symptoms, and quality of life scores after BF all significantly improved in men similarly to women. We conclude that men, compared with women, with FI have unique clinical features and physiology and are less likely to have investigations and treatment despite successful outcome with BF. Future studies to customize treatment in males and determine barriers to therapy are warranted.

NEW & NOTEWORTHY Fecal incontinence in men is common, yet data on sex differences in clinical features, physiology, and treatment are scarce. We provide evidence that men, compared with women, with fecal incontinence have unique clinical features and physiology and are less likely to have investigations and treatment despite successful outcome with anorectal biofeedback therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G46-G51
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Volume312
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Biofeedback
  • Incontinence
  • Physiology
  • Sex

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