Do You Know the Best Way to Use Antegrade Enemas?

Currently, there is no best way to use antegrade enemas.  This is the obvious conclusion after reading a study by S Kuizenga-Wessel et al (JPGN 2016; 62: 71-9).  In this study, the authors reviewed 21 articles and also surveyed 23 physicians involved in the care of children who receive antegrade continence enemas (ACE). While the study provides a lot of details, the bottom-line is that there is wide variation in outcomes, definition of success, workup prior to institution of ACE, and irrigation solutions (16 out of 23 used saline).  The only areas of agreement seem to be the following:

  • use of ACE daily: 22 of 23
  • use of antibiotics with placement: 23/23 (though wide variation in specific regimen)
  • indications for ACE were largely in agreement, including constipation with fecal incontinence (21 of 23), anorectal malformations (22 of 23) and spinal abnormalities (23 of 23); however, only 8 of 23 considered due to functional non-retentive fecal incontinence as an acceptable indication

With regard to the type of enema, the vast majority of physicians (19 of 23) only add a stimulant to the solution after initial failure.  Though, one study (J Pediatr 2012; 161: 700-4) has reported “that subjects who use stimulants from the very beginning had significantly better outcomes.”

My take: Like of a lot areas in medicine and throughout pediatric gastroenterology, there is wide variation in clinical treatment approaches.  Variation in treatment is obvious in the use of ACE.  Collaborative work and consensus building in management would improve success; that is, after we define what success looks like.

In the same issue a link to “History of Pediatric Endoscopy” is provided.  This is a ~15 minute video with interviews with many pioneers/leaders in pediatric gastroenterology.

Related blog posts:

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

1 thought on “Do You Know the Best Way to Use Antegrade Enemas?

  1. Pingback: Pelvic AnoRectal Care Program (PARC) | gutsandgrowth

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