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Despite advances in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) therapies, a significant proportion of patients with quiescent disease experience persistent, debilitating symptoms of faecal incontinence (FI), urgency and defaecatory disorders due to anorectal dysfunction. Such symptoms are often underreported or misdiagnosed and can lead to potentially premature treatment ‘escalation’ and under-utilisation of pelvic floor investigations. In this review article, we consider putative pathophysiological post-inflammatory changes resulting in altered anorectal sensitivity, motility and neuromuscular coordination and how this may drive symptoms in quiescent IBD. Finally, we discuss a pragmatic approach to investigating and managing anorectal dysfunction and highlight areas for future research for this often-neglected group of patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology


SAGE Publications

Publication Date





175628481881695 - 175628481881695