Maximal and sphincter pressure was measured in 22 patients with spinal cord lesions and in a group of 10 controls, using perfused sleeve manometry. The mean resting pressure of the spinal patients was 63+/-8 (SEM) mm Hg, and of the control group 116+/-14 (SEM) mm Hg, P less than 0-01. When the rectum was distended by a balloon inflated with 100 ml of air a fall in anal sphincter pressure to 33+/-6 (SEM) mm Hg in the spinal group and to 78+/-10 (SEM) mm Hg in the control group was observed.
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