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Diagnostic Tests for Bowel incontinence

Diagnostic Test list for Bowel incontinence:

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Bowel incontinence includes:

  • Physical examination
    • Inspect anal area for lesions (e.g. anal fissure, rectal prolapse, hemorrhoids or evidence of anal trauma)
    • Digital rectal examination to examine for a mass and to determine sphincter tone and competence. If sphincter tone is normal consider diarrhea or anorectal conditions. If sphincter tone is abnormal consider congenital abnormalities, neurological conditions, rectal prolapse or trauma to sphincter
    • May be asked to bear down while the examiner looks for a rectal prolapse
    • Cranial nerve examination
    • Examine the reflexes in the legs. If reflexes are under active may suggest a spinal cord tumor, trauma to the spinal cord, multiple sclerosis, meningioma (tumor of the covering membrane of the brain), transverse myelitis (inflammation of the entire thickness of the spinal cord) and syringomyelia (cavities in the spinal cord). If reflexes are over active may suggest tabes dorsalis (advanced form of syphilis affecting the nervous system), a cauda equina tumor, spinal cord stenosis
  • Blood tests
    • Full blood count, ESR , Urea and electrolytes
  • Other tests
    • Syphilis screen if appropriate
    • Proctosigmoidoscopy and Barium enema - to exclude rectal cancer and to look for prolapse, hemorrhoids, proctitis (inflammation of the rectum).
  • Radiological investigations (depending on suspicion and findings on physical examination)
    • If reflexes are over active and there are cranial nerve signs perform CT Scan or MRI of Brain
    • If reflexes are overactive in all 4 limbs but there are no cranial nerve signs perform MRI of the cervical spinal cord
    • If reflexes are over active in legs only perform MRI of thoracic spinal cord
    • If reflexes are under active in the legs perform an MRI or CT Scan of lumbar spine
  • Spinal tap - to help diagnose multiple sclerosis or tabes dorsalis.
  • Anorectal manometry ( to measure the pressure in the anus and rectum) and Proctography - may be used to detect anal and rectal muscle dysfunction.
  • Intra-anal ultrasound scan - may identify a defect in the anal sphincter.
  • Physical exam
  • Digital rectal exam
  • Anal manometry
  • Anorectal ultrasonography
  • Proctography (defecography)
  • Proctosigmoidoscopy
  • Anal electromyography

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Bowel incontinence causes:

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Bowel incontinence:

The following list of conditions have 'Bowel incontinence' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Bowel incontinence or choose View All.

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Conditions listing medical complications: Bowel incontinence:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Bowel incontinence' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.


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