Comparison of anorectal function measured using wearable digital manometry and a high resolution manometry system


There is a need for a lower cost manometry system for assessing anorectal function in primary and secondary care settings. We developed an index finger-based system (termed “digital manometry”) and tested it in healthy volunteers, patients with chronic constipation, and fecal incontinence. Anorectal pressures were measured in 16 participants with the digital manometry system and a 23-channel high-resolution anorectal manometry system. The results were compared using a Bland-Altman analysis at rest as well as during maximum squeeze and simulated defecation maneuvers. Myoelectric activity of the puborectalis muscle was also quantified simultaneously using the digital manometry system. The limits of agreement between the two methods were -7.1 ± 25.7 mmHg for anal sphincter resting pressure, 0.4 ± 23.0 mmHg for the anal sphincter pressure change during simulated defecation, -37.6 ± 50.9 mmHg for rectal pressure changes during simulated defecation, and -20.6 ± 172.6 mmHg for anal sphincter pressure during the maximum squeeze maneuver. The change in the puborectalis myoelectric activity was proportional to the anal sphincter pressure increment during a maximum squeeze maneuver (slope = 0.6, R2 = 0.4). Digital manometry provided a similar evaluation of anorectal pressures and puborectalis myoelectric activity at an order of magnitude less cost than high-resolution manometry, and with a similar level of patient comfort. Digital Manometry provides a simple, inexpensive, point of service means of assessing anorectal function in patients with chronic constipation and fecal incontinence.