Outcome of Biofeedback Therapy in Dyssynergic Defecation Patients With and Without Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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The Rome II and III diagnostic criteria for dyssynergic defecation require the exclusion of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). To prospectively study whether the presence of IBS affects the outcome of biofeedback therapy in dyssynergic defecation patients.


Consecutive patients with dyssynergic defecation underwent biofeedback therapy. Dyssynergic defecation was diagnosed based on symptoms, anorectal manometries, balloon expulsion tests, and colonic transit studies. The defecation dynamics and balloon expulsion time were evaluated at the end of the biofeedback therapy in all patients. IBS symptoms were graded before and 4 weeks after the biofeedback therapy using a 4-point Likert scale. Failure of the biofeedback therapy was defined as <50% improvement of constipation symptoms, which were evaluated using a 10 cm long visual analog scale before and 4 weeks after biofeedback therapy.


Fifty patients completed the study. The biofeedback therapy was successful in 30 patients. Twenty-nine patients fulfilled the Rome II criteria for IBS. Patients with or without IBS demonstrated similar responses to the biofeedback therapy (16 of 29 vs. 14 of 21, P>0.05). The disappearance of IBS symptoms was observed more frequently in patients with an improved defecation index compared with those with no improvement (8 of 12 vs 4 of 17, P<0.05). A high pretreatment constipation symptom score, a high rectal sensory threshold, and a delayed colonic transit time were associated with a poor treatment outcome.


The presence of IBS in dyssynergic defecation did not affect the outcome of biofeedback therapy. In addition, treating dyssynergic defecation patients with IBS by biofeedback therapy improved both constipation and IBS symptoms.

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