Bowel dysfunction after low anterior resection is often assessed by determining the low anterior resection syndrome score. What is unknown, however, is whether this syndrome is already present in the general population and which nonsurgical factors are associated.
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of minor and major low anterior resection syndrome in the general Dutch population and which other factors are associated with this syndrome.
This was a cross-sectional study.
The study was conducted within the general Dutch population.
The Groningen Defecation and Fecal Continence Questionnaire was distributed among a general Dutch population-based sample (N = 1259).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
Minor and major low anterior resection syndrome were classified according to the scores obtained.
The median, overall score was 16 (range, 0-42). Minor low anterior resection syndrome was more prevalent than the major form (24.3% vs 12.2%; p <0.001). Bowel disorders, including fecal incontinence, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome were associated with the syndrome, whereas sex, age, BMI, and vaginal delivery were not. Remarkably, patients with diabetes mellitus were significantly more prone to experience minor or major low anterior resection syndrome. The ORs were 2.8 (95% CI, 1.8-4.4) and 3.7 (95% CI, 2.2-6.2).
We selected frequent comorbidities and other patient-related factors that possibly influence the syndrome. Additional important factors do exist and require future research.
Minor and major low anterior resection syndrome occur in a large portion of the general Dutch population and even in a healthy subgroup. This implies that the low anterior resection syndrome score can only be used to interpret the functional result of the low anterior resection provided that a baseline measurement of each individual is available. Furthermore, because people with low anterior resection syndrome often experience constipation and/or fecal incontinence, direct examination and diagnosis of these conditions might be a more efficient approach to treating patient bowel dysfunctions.