Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 63 (12), 2391-8

Common Anorectal Conditions: Part I. Symptoms and Complaints

  • PMID: 11430454

Common Anorectal Conditions: Part I. Symptoms and Complaints

J L Pfenninger et al. Am Fam Physician.


Anorectal symptoms and complaints are common and may be caused by a wide spectrum of conditions. Although most conditions are benign and may be successfully treated by primary care practitioners, a high index of suspicion for colorectal cancer should be maintained, and all patients should be appropriately investigated. Inspection, palpation and anoscopic examination using an Ive's slotted anoscope provide adequate initial assessment. Pruritus ani usually represents a self-perpetuating itch-scratch cycle and is uncommonly due to infection. The history, as well as the physical examination, can distinguish anal pain due to hemorrhoids, fissure, abscess, cancer or proctalgia fugax. The most frequent causes of rectal bleeding are hemorrhoids, fissures and polyps. Diagnoses associated with difficulty in passing stool can range from constipation to fecal incontinence.

Similar articles

  • Common Anorectal Disorders: Diagnosis and Treatment
    BE Lacy et al. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 11 (5), 413-9. PMID 19765370.
    Anorectal disorders affect men and women of all ages. Their management is not limited to the evaluation and treatment of hemorrhoids. Rather, a spectrum of anorectal diso …
  • Common Anorectal Conditions: Part II. Lesions
    JL Pfenninger et al. Am Fam Physician 64 (1), 77-88. PMID 11456437. - Review
    Patients with a wide variety of anorectal lesions present to family physicians. Most can be successfully managed in the office setting. A high index of suspicion for canc …
  • Evaluation and Management of Common Anorectal Conditions
    MV Fargo et al. Am Fam Physician 85 (6), 624-30. PMID 22534276.
    The prevalence of benign anorectal conditions in the primary care setting is high, although evidence of effective therapy is often lacking. In addition to recognizing com …
  • Treatment of Common Anorectal Disorders
    T Bassford. Am Fam Physician 45 (4), 1787-94. PMID 1558053. - Review
    Family physicians can manage most common anorectal disorders seen in office practice. Proctitis is usually caused by sexually transmitted infections that can be treated w …
  • Anorectal Pain and Irritation: Anal Fissure, Levator Syndrome, Proctalgia Fugax, and Pruritus Ani
    C Vincent. Prim Care 26 (1), 53-68. PMID 9922294. - Review
    Anal fissures, proctalgia fugax, levator ani syndrome, and pruritus ani are common causes of anorectal pain and irritation. The clinician who obtains a thorough history a …
See all similar articles

Cited by 7 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles