Accuracy of the digital anal examination in women with fecal incontinence.
INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: This study aims to determine the accuracy of digital rectal examination (DRE) to detect anal sphincter defects when compared to endoanal ultrasound (US) in women with fecal incontinence (FI). METHODS: Seventy-four patients identified by retrospective chart review who presented with complaints of bothersome FI who underwent endoanal US are the subjects of this analysis. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative likelihood ratios were calculated for the ability of the DRE to detect anal sphincter defects. RESULTS: Anal sphincter defect was suspected on DRE in 75%. At endoanal US, external sphincter defects were noted in all three segments in 41% (complete defect) while partial defects were noted in 30%. DRE demonstrated a sensitivity of 82%, specificity of 32%, +likelihood ratio 1.2 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.95-1.16) and -likelihood ratio of 0.6 (95% CI, 0.2-1.24) for detecting a complete EAS defect on endoanal US. CONCLUSION: DRE has poor specificity for detecting anal sphincter defects seen on endoanal US.
Jeppson, PC; Paraiso, MFR; Jelovsek, JE; Barber, MD
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