This study was aimed to evaluate the anorectal dysfunction in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and propose the clinical significance of anorectal manometry in patients with SSc. Seven patients with SSc were evaluated with manometry for anorectal function and an additional 11 normal subjects were collected as a control group. The study group underwent esophageal manometry as well and the correlation between the degree of anorectal and esophageal dysfunction was evaluated. Patients showed a lower tolerance for balloon distention of the rectum than controls (minimal sensory volume and urgency volume, P < 0.05). The resting and squeezing pressure of the anal sphincter and the functional length of the anal canal showed no significant difference in these two groups. Rectoanal inhibitory reflex was absent in one (14%) and diminished in two (29%) of seven patients with SSc. SSc patients also showed abnormal esophageal manometry findings, notably decreased LES pressure and body amplitude of distal 2/3 esophagus. The comparison between manometric profiles of anorectum and esophagus showed no significant correlation by statistical analysis. In conclusion, our data could suggest that anorectal function may be impaired in patients with SSc which could reflect the involvement of the anorectum by the disease, and that anorectal manometric studies can be useful to detect such dysfunction in patients with SSc, even before clinical symptoms.
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