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What tests are done to diagnose encopresis?

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In some cases, an X-ray of the child’s abdomen or pelvis is performed to determine how much stool is present in the colon and assess if the colon and rectum are enlarged. Occasionally, a barium enema is performed. This is a special type of X-ray. A small tube is inserted into the child’s rectum, and the colon is slowly filled with a radiopaque dye (barium). X-rays are taken throughout the procedure to see if areas of narrowing, twisting, or kinking in the lower intestine are causing the child’s symptoms. In some cases, an anorectal manometry may be performed. With this test, a small tube is inserted into the child’s rectum. The tube has several pressure sensors in it. During the test, the doctor can determine how the child is using his or her abdominal, pelvic, and anal muscles during defecation. Many children who have chronic constipation and/or encopresis do not use their muscles in a coordinated fashion during bowel movements.

From: Encopresis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCE:

American Academy of Pediatrics.

American College of Gastroenterology.

UpToDate.com: "Chronic functional constipation and fecal incontinence in infants and children: Treatment."

 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 10, 2019

SOURCE:

American Academy of Pediatrics.

American College of Gastroenterology.

UpToDate.com: "Chronic functional constipation and fecal incontinence in infants and children: Treatment."

 

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on May 10, 2019

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How is an anorectal manometry used to diagnose encopresis?

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