Methods of anorectal manometry vary widely in clinical practice: Results from an international survey

The International Anorectal Physiology Working Party Group (IAPWG)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: Ano-rectal manometry (ARM) is the most commonly performed investigation for assessment of anorectal dysfunction. Its use is supported by expert consensus documents and international guidelines. Variation in technology, data acquisition, and analysis affect results and clinical interpretation. This study examined variation in ARM between institutions to establish the status of current practice. Methods: A 50-item web-based questionnaire assessing analysis and interpretation of ARM was distributed by the International Anorectal Physiology Working Group via societies representing practitioners that perform ARM. Study methodology and performance characteristics between institutions were compared. Key Results: One hundred and seven complete responses were included from 30 countries. Seventy-nine (74%) institutions performed at least two studies per week. Forty-nine centers (47%) applied conventional ARM (≤8 pressure sensors) and 57 (53%) high-resolution ARM (HR-ARM). Specialist centers were most likely to use HR-ARM compared to regional hospitals and office-based practice (63% vs 37%). Most conventional ARM systems used water-perfused technology (34/49); solid-state hardware was more frequently used in centers performing HR-ARM (44/57). All centers evaluated rest and squeeze. There was marked variation in the methods used to report results of maneuvers. No two centers had identical protocols for patient preparation, setup, study, and data interpretation, and no center fully complied with published guidelines. Conclusions & Inferences: There is significant discrepancy in methods for data acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of ARM. This is likely to impact clinical interpretation, transfer of data between institutions, and research collaboration. There is a need for expert international co-operation to standardize ARM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13016
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • anal manometry
  • anorectal dysfunction
  • anorectal manometry
  • anorectal physiology
  • constipation
  • faecal/fecal incontinence
  • high-resolution anorectal manometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'Methods of anorectal manometry vary widely in clinical practice: Results from an international survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this