Endoanal Ultrasound in Perianal Fistulae and Abscesses

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Abstract

Endoanal ultrasound is a technique that provides imaging of the anal sphincters and its surrounding structures as well as the pelvic floor. However, endoanal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is preferred by most physicians, although costs are higher and demand easily outgrows availability. Endoanal ultrasound is an accurate imaging modality delineating anatomy of both cryptoglandular as well as Crohn perianal fistula and abscess. Endoanal ultrasound is comparable with examination under anesthesia and equally sensitive as endoanal MRI in fistula detection. When fistula tracts or abscesses are located above the puborectal muscle, an additional endoanal MRI should be performed. Preoperative imaging is advocated in recurrent cryptoglandular fistula because a more complex pattern can be expected. Endoanal ultrasound can help avoid missing tracts during surgery, lowering the chance for the fistula to persist or recur. It can easily be performed in an outpatient setting and endosonographic skills are quickly incremented. Costs are low and endoanal ultrasound has the potential to improve outcome of patients with both cryptoglandular and fistulizing Crohn disease; therefore, it values more attention.

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