Translumbosacral Anorectal Magnetic Stimulation Test for Fecal Incontinence

Yun Yan, Amol Sharma, Anam A. Herekar, Enoe Jimenez, Amit R. Hudgi, Qiaochu G. Gu, Satish S.C. Rao

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BACKGROUND: Neuropathy may cause fecal incontinence and mixed fecal incontinence/constipation, but its prevalence is unclear, partly due to the lack of comprehensive testing of spino-anorectal innervation. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop and determine the clinical usefulness of a novel test, translumbosacral anorectal magnetic stimulation for fecal incontinence. DESIGN: This observational cohort study was conducted from 2012 to 2018. SETTINGS: This study was performed at a tertiary referral center. PATIENTS: Patients with fecal incontinence, patients with mixed fecal incontinence/constipation, and healthy controls were included. INTERVENTIONS: A translumbosacral anorectal magnetic stimulation test was performed by using an anorectal probe with 4 ring electrodes and magnetic coil, and by stimulating bilateral lumbar and sacral plexuses, uses and recording 8 motor-evoked potentials at anal and rectal sites. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The prevalence of lumbar and/or sacral neuropathy was examined. Secondary outcomes were correlation of neuropathy with anorectal sensorimotor function(s) and morphological changes. RESULTS: We evaluated 220 patients: 144 with fecal incontinence, 76 with mixed fecal incontinence/constipation, and 31 healthy controls. All 8 lumbar and sacral motor-evoked potential latencies were significantly prolonged (p < 0.01) in fecal incontinence and mixed fecal incontinence/constipation groups compared with controls. Neuropathy was patchy and involved 4.0 (3.0) (median (interquartile range)) sites. Lumbar neuropathy was seen in 29% to 65% of the patients in the fecal incontinence group and 22% to 61% of the patients in the mixed fecal incontinence/constipation group, and sacral neuropathy was seen in 24% to 64% and 29% to 61% of these patients. Anal neuropathy was significantly more (p < 0.001) prevalent than rectal neuropathy in both groups. There was no correlation between motor-evoked potential latencies and anal sphincter pressures, rectal sensation, or anal sphincter defects. LIMITATIONS: No comparative analysis with electromyography was performed. CONCLUSION: Lumbar or sacral plexus neuropathy was detected in 40% to 75% of patients with fecal incontinence with a 2-fold greater prevalence at the anal region than the rectum. Lumbosacral neuropathy appears to be an independent mechanism in the pathogenesis of fecal incontinence, unassociated with other sensorimotor dysfunctions. Translumbosacral anorectal magnetic stimulation has a high yield and is a safe and clinically useful neurophysiological test. See Video Abstract at PRUEBA DE ESTIMULACIN MAGNTICA TRANSLUMBOSACRAL ANORECTAL PARA LA INCONTINENCIA FECAL: ANTECEDENTES:La neuropatía puede causar incontinencia fecal y una combinación de incontinencia fe-cal/estreñimiento, pero su prevalencia no está clara, en parte debido a la falta de pruebas comple-tas de inervación espino-anorrectal.OBJETIVO:Desarrollar y determinar la utilidad clínica de una nueva prueba, estimulación magnética trans-lumbosacral anorrectal para la incontinencia fecal.DISEÑO:Estudio de cohorte observacional del 2012 al 2018.ENTORNO CLINICO:Centro de referencia terciario.PACIENTES:Pacientes con incontinencia fecal, combinación de incontinencia fecal/estreñimiento y controles sanos.INTERVENCIONES:Se realizó una prueba de estimulación magnética translumbosacral anorrectal utilizando una sonda anorrectal con 4 electrodos anulares y bobina magnética, y estimulando los plexos lumbares y sacros bilaterales y registrando ocho potenciales evocados motores las regiones anal y rectal.PRINCIPALES MEDIDAS DE RESULTADO:Se examinó la prevalencia de neuropatía lumbar y/o sacra. Los resultados secundarios fueron la correlación de la neuropatía con las funciones sensitivomotoras anorrectales y cambios morfológi-cos.RESULTADOS:Evaluamos 220 pacientes, 144 con incontinencia fecal, 76 con combinación de incontinencia fe-cal/estreñimiento y 31 sujetos sanos. Las ocho latencias de los potenciales evocadas motoras lum-bares y sacras se prolongaron significativamente (p <0,01) en la incontinencia fecal y el grupo mixto en comparación con los controles. La neuropatía fue irregular y afectaba 4,0 (3,0) (mediana (rango intercuartílico) sitios. Se observó neuropatía lumbar en 29-65% en la incontinencia fecal y 22-61% en el grupo mixto, y neuropatía sacra en 24-64% y 29-61 % de pacientes respectivamen-te. La neuropatía anal fue significativamente más prevalente (p <0,001) que la rectal en ambos grupos. No hubo correlación entre las latencias de los potenciales evocadas motoras y las presio-nes del esfínter anal, la sensación rectal o los defectos del esfínter anal.LIMITACIONES:Sin análisis comparativo con electromiografía.CONCLUSIÓNES:Se detectó neuropatía del plexo lumbar o sacro en el 40-75% de los pacientes con incontinencia fecal con una prevalencia dos veces mayor en la región anal que en el recto. La neuropatía lumbo-sacra parece ser un mecanismo independiente en la patogenia de la incontinencia fecal, no asocia-do con otras disfunciones sensitivomotoras. La estimulación magnética translumbosacral anorrec-tal tiene un alto rendimiento, es una prueba neurofisiológica segura y clínicamente útil. Consulte Video Resumen en

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-92
Number of pages10
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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