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Measurement of anal pressure and motility.
  1. B D Hancock

    Abstract

    A fine open perfused system and a closed balloon system for the measurement of anal pressure and motility have been compared. Measurements were made in 40 normal subjects and 84 patients with haemorrhoids. The rate of perfusion had a marked effect on the recorded pressure and motility details. The motility pattern was seen most clearly with the balloon probe and the pressure recorded was reproducible and easy to measure, making this a convenient method for recording activity of the internal anal sphincter. Anal motility in normal subjects was characterised by slow pressure waves (10-20/min). The frequency was fastest in the distal anal canal and this frequency gradient may represent a normal mechanism to keep the anal canal empty. Ultra slow pressure waves (0-6-1-9/min) were seen in 42% of patients with haemorrhoids and 5% of normal subjects and arose from a synchronous contraction of the whole internal sphincter.

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