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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Fecal Incontinence and Neurogenic Bowel Dysfunction in Women With Traumatic and Nontraumatic Spinal Cord Injury

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BACKGROUND: In the literature on chronic spinal cord injury, neurogenic bowel dysfunction has not gained as much attention as bladder dysfunction, the traditional cause of morbidity and mortality.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of fecal incontinence and conditions associated with fecal incontinence in women with spinal cord injury.

DESIGN: In this cross-sectional study, data were obtained from an electronic medical chart database containing standardized questionnaires.

SETTINGS: The study was conducted at the Clinic for Spinal Cord Injuries, Rigshospitalet, where patients from Eastern Denmark are followed every second year.

PATIENTS: Women who sustained a spinal cord injury between September 1999 and August 2016 and attended a consultation between August 2010 and August 2016 were included. If the bowel function questionnaire had never been answered, the woman was excluded.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The newest completed questionnaire regarding bowel function, urinary bladder function, quality of life, neurologic level/completeness/etiology of injury, mobility status, and spousal relationship was obtained from each woman.

RESULTS: Among the 733 identified women, 684 were included, of whom only 11% had a complete motor injury. A total of 35% experienced fecal incontinence, varying from daily to less than monthly, and 79% experienced bowel dysfunction. Fecal incontinence was associated with urinary incontinence and decreased satisfaction with life in general and psychological health. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the odds of daily-monthly fecal incontinence increased significantly with increasing age, myelomeningocele as etiology of injury, a more complete paraplegic injury, use of wheelchair permanently, and follow-up <3 months.

LIMITATIONS: There were missing data in the study, including 12% with no answer to the fecal incontinence question.

CONCLUSIONS: Fecal incontinence is a severe problem that affects more than one third of women with spinal cord injury and is associated with decreased quality of life. The present study emphasizes that women with myelomeningocele, a more complete paraplegic injury, older age, short follow-up period, and permanent wheelchair use have an increased risk of fecal incontinence. See Video Abstract at INCONTINENCIA FECAL Y DISFUNCIÓN NEUROGÉNICA DEL INTESTINO EN MUJERES CON LESIÓN DE LA MEDULA ESPINAL TRAUMÁTICA Y NO TRAUMÁTICA: En la literatura sobre la lesión crónica de la médula espinal, la disfunción neurógena del intestino no ha ganado tanta atención como la disfunción de la vejiga, la causa tradicional de morbilidad y mortalidad. OBJETIVÓ:: Investigar la prevalencia de la incontinencia fecal y las condiciones asociadas con la incontinencia fecal en mujeres con lesión de la médula espinal. DISEÑO:: En este estudio transversal, los datos se obtuvieron de una base de datos de registros médicos electrónicos que contenía cuestionarios estandarizados. CONFIGURACIÓN:: Clínica para Lesiones de la Médula Espinal, Rigshospitalet, donde los pacientes del Este de Dinamarca son seguidos cada dos años.

PACIENTES: Mujeres que sufrieron una lesión en la médula espinal entre Septiembre de 1999 a Agosto de 2016 y asistieron a una consulta entre Agosto de 2010 a Agosto de 2016. Si nunca se había respondido el cuestionario de la función intestinal, se excluyó a la mujer.

MEDIDA DE RESULTADOS PRINCIPALES: Se obtuvo el cuestionario más reciente y completo sobre la función intestinal, la función de la vejiga urinaria, la calidad de vida, el nivel neurológico/integridad/etiología de la lesión, el estado de movilidad y la relación con el cónyuge.

RESULTADOS: Entre las 733 mujeres identificadas, se incluyeron 684, de las cuales solo el 11% tenía una lesión de motor completa. Un total de 35% experimentó incontinencia fecal que varió de diaria a menos de mensual, y el 79% experimentó disfunción intestinal. La incontinencia fecal se asoció con incontinencia urinaria y disminución de la satisfacción de vida en general y con la salud psicológica. En el análisis de regresión logística multivariable, las probabilidades de incontinencia fecal diaria-mensual aumentaron significativamente con el aumento de la edad, el mielomeningocele como etiología de la lesión, una lesión parapléjica más completa, el uso de silla de ruedas de forma permanente y el seguimiento <3 meses.

LIMITACIONES: Faltaban datos en el estudio, incluyendo el 12% sin respuesta a la pregunta sobre incontinencia fecal.

CONCLUSIONES: La incontinencia fecal es un problema grave que afecta a más de un tercio de las mujeres con lesión de la médula espinal y se asocia con una disminución de calidad de vida. El presente estudio enfatiza que las mujeres con mielomeningocele, una lesión parapléjica más completa, mayor edad, corto período de seguimiento y uso de silla de ruedas permanente tienen un mayor riesgo de incontinencia fecal. Vea el Video del Resumen en

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1095-1104
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

ID: 58403214