Constipation MRI

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Eiman Ghaffarpasand, M.D. [2]


Different MRI modalities may be helpful in the diagnosis of constipation underlying diseases. Four types of MRI which are used for diagnosing constipation are conventional pelvic MRI, dynamic MRI (MR defecography), endoanal MRI, and fluoroscopic MRI. Pelvic MRI mostly reveals the general structure and anatomy of pelvic organs. Findings on MR defecography suggestive of constipation include various types of rectal prolapse (mucosal or full-thickness), disorders of pelvic floor muscles movements, very acute anorectal angle, and Increased perineal descent degree during rectal evacuation. The major findings on endoanal MRI are thinning of sphincter muscles, disruption of sphincter muscles, and changes in the anorectal angle. MRI fluoroscopy is a real time modality that evaluates the pelvic floor and viscera during defecation, valsalva maneuver, and evacuation process.


Pelvic MRI

Dynamic MRI (MR defecography)

  • Finally, lack of valid standardization and also expensive prices are the major limitation ahead of MR defecography.

Endoanal MRI


MRI fluoroscopy


  1. Rao SS, Meduri K (2011). "What is necessary to diagnose constipation?". Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 25 (1): 127–40. doi:10.1016/j.bpg.2010.11.001. PMC 3063397. PMID 21382584.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bolog N, Weishaupt D (2005). "Dynamic MR imaging of outlet obstruction". Rom J Gastroenterol. 14 (3): 293–302. PMID 16200243.
  3. Bertschinger KM, Hetzer FH, Roos JE, Treiber K, Marincek B, Hilfiker PR (2002). "Dynamic MR imaging of the pelvic floor performed with patient sitting in an open-magnet unit versus with patient supine in a closed-magnet unit". Radiology. 223 (2): 501–8. doi:10.1148/radiol.2232010665. PMID 11997560.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fletcher JG, Busse RF, Riederer SJ, Hough D, Gluecker T, Harper CM, Bharucha AE (2003). "Magnetic resonance imaging of anatomic and dynamic defects of the pelvic floor in defecatory disorders". Am. J. Gastroenterol. 98 (2): 399–411. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2003.07235.x. PMID 12591061.
  5. Bharucha AE, Fletcher JG, Seide B, Riederer SJ, Zinsmeister AR (2005). "Phenotypic variation in functional disorders of defecation". Gastroenterology. 128 (5): 1199–210. PMID 15887104.

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