Publications by authors named "Claudio Morera"

6 Publications

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Evaluation of Fecal Incontinence in Pediatric Functional Constipation: Clinical Utility of Anorectal and Colon Manometry.

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2021 03;72(3):361-365

Center for Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Objectives: The aim of the study is to evaluate the utility of motility studies in pediatric functional constipation with/without fecal incontinence.

Patients And Methods: Patients with functional constipation and failure to conventional therapy undergoing colonic manometry (CM) and/or anorectal manometry (ARM) manometry were classified as functional constipation without fecal incontinence (FC) or with fecal incontinence (FCI). Clinical data, motility parameters, and treatment outcomes were compared.

Results: A total of 280 were included, and all patients underwent CM (229 FC and 51 FCI) and 219 ARM. We found no difference in CM interpretation and presence of normal high amplitude propagating contractions (HAPCs) between groups; however, patients with FCI had higher frequency and presence of HAPCs and normal gastrocolonic meal response (GC). No CM parameter predicted outcomes. In FC, more patients with an abnormal CM responded to therapy compared to those with a normal study (79% vs 65% respectively, P = 0.04). FCI patients had lower median anal resting pressure compared to FC (49 vs 66 mmHg, respectively, P = 0.03); no other ARM parameter differentiated FC from FCI. We found no association between therapy response and ARM interpretation (P = 0.847) or any ARM parameter. A multivariate analysis found only male gender was associated with FCI (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: FCI patients have higher frequency of normal CM parameters compared to FC, but overall interpretation was no different. CM helped predict response to therapy in FC but not in FCI. ARM demonstrated no added benefit in the evaluation of functional constipation with/without soiling. Patients with both normal ARM and CM had a lower response to therapy than those with abnormal studies.
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March 2021

Longitudinal and radial characteristics of intra-anal pressures in children using 3D high-definition anorectal manometry: new observations.

Am J Gastroenterol 2013 Dec 29;108(12):1918-28. Epub 2013 Oct 29.

Center for Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Objectives: The pathophysiology of fecal incontinence is not well understood. Standard or high-resolution anorectal manometry (ARM) provides simple two-dimensional (2D) intra-anal pressure measurements and do not identify radial asymmetry or localize abnormal sphincter function. 3D high-definition ARM (HDARM) has 256 pressure sensors distributed circumferentially and provides a detailed topographical and 3D pressure gradient representation of the anal canal. The objective of this study was to use HDARM to characterize intra-anal pressure profiles in children during rest and squeeze.

Methods: HDARM manometric tracings of 30 children with constipation referred for ARM were reviewed. 2D pressure profiles using high-resolution manometry were used to measure the length of the high-pressure zone (HPZ). The HPZ was divided into four equal segments from the anal verge to adjust for the variable sphincter length. Longitudinal and radial measurements of the HPZ during rest and squeeze (anterior, left, posterior, right quadrants of the HPZ) were taken along each segment in 2D and 3D topographical views. A 3D reconstruction combining all patients was then constructed.

Results: Mean age was 149.3±1.8 months and mean HPZ length was 3.0±0.1 cm. Using 2D manometry, the mean peak HPZ pressure at rest was 72.0±2.5 mm Hg, and was located in the second segment of the HPZ. The mean peak HPZ pressure at squeeze was 202.9±13.1, and was located in the second segment. 3D measurement demonstrated both longitudinal and radial asymmetry along the anterior, left, posterior, and right quadrants of the HPZ. Left and right quadrant pressures were higher than anterior and posterior pressures at the anal verge and segment 1 during rest and squeeze. Anterior pressures were lower than posterior pressures longitudinally and radially in segments 2, 3, and 4 both during rest and squeeze. Our findings also suggest that in pediatrics it may be necessary to adjust pressure measurement to the anal canal length to get a more accurate picture.

Conclusions: 3D HDARM allows for a detailed characterization of intra-anal pressures. 3D topographic pressure measurements demonstrate longitudinal and radial asymmetry of the anal canal at rest and during squeeze. This is the first time longitudinal and radial asymmetry of the anal canal has been described in children. 3D HDARM may allow for a better understanding of the mechanisms of fecal continence in children.
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December 2013

Helicobacter heilmannii gastritis in a young patient with a pet.

Gastrointest Endosc 2012 Aug;76(2):421-2

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

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August 2012

Heterogeneity of lower esophageal sphincter function in children with achalasia.

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2012 Jan;54(1):34-40

Center for Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Background And Aim: Achalasia is a rare esophageal motor disorder in children. The manometric hallmarks are esophageal body aperistalsis, lack of lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxation, and high LES pressure. However, LES relaxation and function may be heterogeneous, making the diagnosis difficult at times. The aim of the study was to describe LES function in children with achalasia.

Patients And Methods: The present study is a retrospective review of manometric tracings of pediatric patients with achalasia and controls. LES response after each swallow was evaluated. LES parameters were defined as homogeneous (normal or abnormal) if the same response was observed in >75% of swallows. Otherwise, the LES parameters were considered heterogeneous.

Results: Twenty-nine patients with achalasia and 16 control patients were included. All of the controls had normal LES pressure and relaxation in all of the wet swallows. In the achalasia group, some LES relaxation was present in 74% of swallows and 25% of swallows had normal relaxation. Depending on the parameter, a heterogeneous LES (resting pressure, relaxation, residual pressure, and duration of relaxation) was observed in 27.6% to 34.5% of patients with achalasia versus 0% of the controls (P < 0.001). The rest of the patients with achalasia had homogeneous abnormal responses versus homogeneous normal responses in 100% of control patients (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: The LES function in pediatric patients with achalasia is heterogeneous. The classic description of a nonrelaxing high-pressure LES in patients with achalasia is rarely found in children. Partial relaxations are common, and normal relaxations may be present.
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January 2012

Rectal manometry in patients with isolated sacral agenesis.

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2003 Jul;37(1):47-52

Gastrointestinal Motility Unit, Combined Program in Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, U.S.A.

Objective: The authors evaluated rectal manometry of children with sacral root abnormalities secondary to isolated sacral agenesis.

Methods: The anorectal manometric recordings of seven patients with isolated sacral agenesis (four with partial agenesis and three with complete agenesis) were retrospectively evaluated and compared with tracings from healthy control subjects. Characteristics of the internal anal sphincter (IAS), the rectoanal inhibitory reflex (RAIR), voluntary external anal squeeze pressure, and threshold of rectal sensation to distension were analyzed. Characteristics of the patients' neurologic function with attention to urinary and fecal continence were obtained by chart review.

Results: All seven patients had urinary and fecal incontinence. IAS resting pressure was the same in patients and control subjects. In the three patients with total sacral agenesis, IAS relaxation was more complete and lasted longer after balloon distention of the rectum. These patients also had significantly lower voluntary external anal squeeze pressure and blunted sensation of rectal distension.

Conclusions: Abnormal parasympathetic innervation associated with sacral agenesis is associated with changes in anorectal function. Manometric findings suggest that there is modulation of the RAIR by extrinsic innervation, which may explain the fecal incontinence in these patients.
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July 2003