Childhood constipation: finally something is moving!

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016;10(1):141-55. doi: 10.1586/17474124.2016.1098533. Epub 2015 Oct 14.


Recent developments in the evaluation and treatment of childhood constipation are likely to influence the way we deal with pediatric defecation disorders in the near future. Innovations in both colonic and anorectal manometry are leading to novel insights into functional defecation disorders in children. Promising results have been achieved with innovative therapies such as electrical stimulation and new drugs with targets that differ from conventional pharmacological treatments. Also, new surgical approaches, guided by manometric findings, have led to improvement in patient outcome. Finally, utilization of non-pharmacological interventions such as fiber and probiotics has been a field of particular interest in recent years. The aim of this article is to provide an update on these and other novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools related to childhood constipation.

Keywords: anorectal manometry; children; colonic manometry; constipation; electrical stimulation; sacral neurostimulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anal Canal / physiopathology
  • Cathartics / therapeutic use
  • Chenodeoxycholic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Chloride Channel Agonists / therapeutic use
  • Colon / physiopathology
  • Constipation / physiopathology*
  • Constipation / surgery
  • Constipation / therapy*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dipeptides / therapeutic use
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Gastrointestinal Transit
  • Humans
  • Lubiprostone / therapeutic use
  • Manometry
  • Medical History Taking
  • Peptides / therapeutic use
  • Physical Examination
  • Receptors, Ghrelin / agonists
  • Rectum / physiopathology
  • Serotonin Agents / therapeutic use
  • Therapeutic Irrigation
  • Thiazepines / therapeutic use
  • Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation


  • Cathartics
  • Chloride Channel Agonists
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Dipeptides
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Ghrelin
  • Serotonin Agents
  • Thiazepines
  • Chenodeoxycholic Acid
  • Lubiprostone
  • elobixibat
  • linaclotide