[Treatment of proctalgia fugax with botulinum toxin: results in 5 patients]

Rev Clin Esp. 2006 Mar;206(3):137-40. doi: 10.1157/13086207.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Proctalgia fugax can be defined as transitory but recurrent anal pain. Although its etiology remains unknown, an internal anal sphincter spasm seems to be the most likely, so that the different treatments focus on reducing the pressure of the internal anal sphincter. This study is aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of botulinum A toxin in the treatment of proctalgia fugax.

Patients and methods: Prospective clinical trial of patients with proctalgia fugax treated with botulinum A toxin at the Outpatient Clinic attached to the Coloproctogy Unit, University Hospital of Elche, from January 1999 to January 2002. The patients included in the study underwent rectal digital examination, anuscopy, rectoscopy, anal manometry and ultrasonography, barium enema and pelvic CT scan to rule out any organic cause for anal pain. The treatment consisted of 25 IU of botulinum A toxin, with a supplementary dose of 50 IU in those patients with persistence of anal pain episodes within the next two months. The patients were reviewed on the first week, second month, sixth month and first and second year. Anal pain was measured by the patients, using a linear analogue scale from 0 to 10, and continence was assessed at every visit using the Cleveland Continence Grading Scale.

Results: Five patients were recluted for the study, with a predominance of females (4 vs. 1). Mean age was 45 years. Length of symptoms prior to the treatment was 13 months (range: 6-18 months). Only one female patient required a second dose of botulinum A toxin to handle the anal pain. All the patients healed and remained free of pain up to finishing the follow-up. There were no local complications. Anal manometry showed an increased MRP (mean resting pressure) in comparison to a control group of patients (114 mmHg vs. 66 mmHg; p < 0.001) that restore to normal values after the treatment (75.65 mmHg). As for the MSP (mean squeeze pressure), it showed no difference with respect to the control group nor did it vary after the treatment.

Conclusion: Botulinum A toxin offers a high rate of healing with no associate morbidity in the treatment of proctalgia fugax.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anus Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuromuscular Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Pain / drug therapy*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Prospective Studies


  • Neuromuscular Agents
  • Botulinum Toxins, Type A