Antegrade continence enema procedure: Impact on quality of life in patients with spinal cord injury

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Study design: This is a prospective cohort study. Objectives: Patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) often suffer from severe constipation/fecal incontinence. The antegrade continence enema (ACE) procedure is often used to control these distressing symptoms when medical management fails. Improvement in the quality of life (QOL) following the ACE procedure has been demonstrated in patients with fecal incontinence of various etiologies. We assess the impact of the ACE procedure on QOL in patients with fecal incontinence due to SCI. Setting: This study was conducted in the United States. Methods: We measured the impact of fecal incontinence on QOL in patients with SCI undergoing ACE using the validated fecal incontinence quality of life (FIQL) QOL instrument. The FIQL scores QOL in four domains: lifestyle, coping/behavior, depression/self-perception and embarrassment. Surveys were prospectively administered before and after surgery. Preoperative and postoperative survey scores were compared using two-sample T-test. Results: Between 2003 and 2010, the ACE procedure was performed on 17 patients with SCI, including 10 paraplegic and seven quadriplegic patients with an average age of 33 years at the time of surgery. Scores in all four QOL realms assessed by the FIQL instrument improved significantly following the ACE procedure. Stomal stenosis requiring channel revision occurred in three patients and was the most common complication. Conclusions: This is the first study to our knowledge that assesses the impact of the ACE procedure on the QOL in patients with SCI. Using a validated questionnaire, we demonstrated significant improvement in QOL related to fecal incontinence following the ACE procedure in these patients who are severely affected by their bowel dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-215
Number of pages3
JournalSpinal Cord
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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