Meta-analysis of antegrade continence enema in adults with faecal incontinence and constipation

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Faecal incontinence and constipation affects up to 20 per cent of the general population, and can be a significant source of distress. The antegrade continence enema (ACE) procedure has been shown to be an effective alternative treatment option for children, but its use in adults requires clarification. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to determine outcomes of the ACE procedure in adults with faecal incontinence and constipation.


PubMed, MEDLINE and the Cochrane Library (from January 1990 to January 2015) were searched for studies that reported outcomes of ACE in adults with faecal incontinence and constipation. The primary outcome measure was successful use of ACE in the management of symptoms, as determined by continued use at follow-up.


Seventeen observational studies involving 426 patients (265 female patients; median age 42 (range 17–84) years) with faecal incontinence (165 patients), constipation (209) or both (52), who had undergone the ACE procedure, were analysed. At a median follow-up of 39 months, the pooled success rate was 74·3 (95 per cent c.i. 66·1 to 82·6) per cent (P < 0·001). For patients with faecal incontinence the pooled success rate was 83·6 (75·0 to 92·1) per cent, compared with 67·7 (55·1 to 80·3) per cent in patients with constipation (both P < 0·001).


The ACE procedure is an effective long-term treatment option in patients with faecal incontinence and constipation, and should be considered before performing a definitive colostomy. Patients with faecal incontinence appear to respond better than those with constipation.

Effective in incontinence and constipation

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles