Novel association of rectal evacuation disorder and rumination syndrome: Diagnosis, comorbidities, and treatment

Priya Vijayvargiya, Johanna Iturrino, Michael Camilleri, Andrea Shin, Maria Vazquez-Roque, David A. Katzka, Jill R. Snuggerud, Richard J. Seime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Patients with disorders of gastrointestinal function may undergo unnecessary treatment if misdiagnosed as motility disorders. Objective: To report on clinical features, medical, surgical, and psychiatric comorbidities, and prior treatments of a patient cohort diagnosed concurrently with nonpsychogenic rumination syndrome and pelvic floor dysfunction (also termed rectal evacuation disorder). Methods: From a consecutive series (1994–2013) of 438 outpatients with rectal evacuation disorders in the practice of a single gastroenterologist at a tertiary care centre, 57 adolescents or adults were diagnosed with concomitant rumination syndrome. All underwent formal psychological assessment or completed validated questionnaires. Results: All 57 patients (95% female) fulfilled Rome III criteria for rumination syndrome; rectal evacuation disorder was confirmed by testing of anal sphincter pressures and rectal balloon evacuation. Prior to diagnosis, most patients underwent multiple medical and surgical treatments (gastrostomy, gastric fundoplication, other gastric surgery, ileostomy, colectomy) for their symptoms. Psychological comorbidity was identified in 93% of patients. Patients were managed predominantly with psychological and behavioural approaches: diaphragmatic breathing for rumination and biofeedback retraining for pelvic floor dysfunction. Conclusions: Awareness of concomitant rectal evacuation disorder and rumination syndrome and prompt identification of psychological comorbidity are keys to instituting behavioural and psychological methods to avoid unnecessary treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalUnited European Gastroenterology Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


  • Psychological comorbidities
  • Rectal evacuation disorder
  • Rumination syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Gastroenterology


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