A manometric study of the sigmoid colon and of the anorectum was undertaken in 65 chronically constipated patients complaining of abdominal pain, and in a control group of 23 healthy volunteers. Rectal compliance was tested in both groups. The sigmoid motility study allowed for the segregation of the constipated patients into three groups: hypokinesia (12 cases), normokinesia (34 cases), hyperkinesia (19 cases). Rectal manometry showed anal hypertony in 24 patients, impaired rectal conscious sensitivity in 12 subjects, and normal functions in the remaining cases. The rectal compliance study disclosed a decreased compliance in 15 cases and increased compliance in 13 other patients. In 12 cases disordered sigmoid motility was the only abnormality; in 10 cases only a rectoanal abnormality was found. Most of the patients (52%) exhibited miscellaneous disorders. In contrast, all parameters were normal in nine subjects. No consistent pattern of motility disorders was thus demonstrated in this clinically homogeneous group of patients with chronic, painful, constipation.
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