Chronic constipation: A review of literature

Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 May;97(20):e10631. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000010631.


Background: Chronic constipation is described as a common complication determined by difficult and/or rare passage of stool or both. The difference in definition of constipation has led to a wide range of reported prevalence (i.e., between 1% and 80%). Various factors are involved in the pathogenesis of the disease, including type of diet, genetic predisposition, colonic motility, absorption, social economic status, daily behaviors, and biological and pharmaceutical factors. Diagnostic and therapeutic options play a key role in the treatment of chronic constipation. There are still debates about the timing of these diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms.

Methods: A systematic and comprehensive search will be performed using MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, AMED, the Cochrane Library and Google Scholar. Better understanding of the pathophysiology of chronic constipation and efficacy of pharmacological agent can help physicians for treating and managing symptoms.In this study, some of the old and new therapies in the treatment of chronic constipation have been studied based on the controlled studies and strong evidence. We are trying to address some of the controversial issues to manage the disease and to provide appropriate diagnostic options in an efficient and cost-effective way.

Results: The results of this systematic review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Conclusion: To our knowledge, our study will provide an overall estimate of chronic constipation to assess controversial issues, available diagnostic and therapeutic strategies of chronic constipation.

Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval and informed consent are not required, as the study will be a literature review and will not involve direct contact with patients or alterations to patient care.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / therapy
  • Colon / physiopathology
  • Constipation / diagnosis
  • Constipation / etiology
  • Constipation / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male