PURPOSE: Fecal incontinence caused by a weak or disrupted internal anal sphincter is common but there has been no effective treatment. This prospective study evaluates the medium-term clinical effects of an injectable silicone biomaterial, PTP (Bioplastique), used to augment the internal anal sphincter.
METHOD: Eighty-two patients (64 females; median age, 66 years) with severe fecal incontinence and a low anal resting pressure caused by internal anal sphincter dysfunction (defect, n = 11; intact, n = 71) were randomized to PTP injection into intersphincteric space and internal anal sphincter with (Group A, n = 42) or without (Group B, n = 40) guidance by endoanal ultrasound. Both groups were similar in terms of age, gender, past anorectal surgery, duration of follow-up (median, 6 months; range, 1-12 months), and baseline continence score. Sixty-two percent of Group A and 55 percent of Group B had prolonged pudendal nerve terminal motor latency.
RESULTS: There was no significant complication. Two patients in Group A and four patients in Group B noted minor discomfort at injection sites. At one month postprocedure, endoanal ultrasound confirmed retention of silicone biomaterial without migration. In both groups, fecal continence was significantly improved by PTP implants 1 month after injection, but continued to improve significantly for up to 12 months in Group A and 6 months in Group B (P < 0.001). Improvement in fecal continence and maximum anal resting pressure was significantly greater in Group A, in whom injection was guided by endoanal ultrasound, than in Group B. At three months after injection, significantly more Group A patients than Group B patients achieved >50 percent improvement in Wexner's continence score (69 percent vs. 40 percent; P = 0.014). Ninety-three percent of Group A and 92 percent of Group B had >50 percent improvement in global quality of life scores (visual analog scale). At a median follow-up of 6 months, all domains of the fecal incontinence quality of life scale improved significantly in both groups; however, the physical function and mental health scores of Short Form-12 only improved in Group A. A prolonged pudendal nerve terminal motor latency had no effect on functional outcome in either group.
CONCLUSION: Injection of silicone biomaterial provided a marked improvement in fecal continence and quality of life in patients with internal sphincter dysfunction, despite the presence of pudendal neuropathy.
Source: PubMed 15657666