Benign anorectal disease in children: What do we know?

Arch Pediatr. 2022 Apr;29(3):171-176. doi: 10.1016/j.arcped.2022.01.015. Epub 2022 Mar 3.


Benign anorectal disease refers to a diverse group of frequent anorectal complaints that cause considerable discomfort, disability, and often constitute a significant problem for the child and his or her family. Hemorrhoids, fissures, rectal prolapse, and perianal abscess and fistulas are the most common anorectal disorders in pediatric population and their appearance may be age-specific. Although they generally follow a benign course, a careful examination must be performed in order to exclude other serious and complicated underlying pathology. Their diagnosis is based on the patient's medical history, physical examination, endoscopy, and imaging. Moreover, the management of these disorders includes medical and surgical treatment options, and if they are treated promptly and properly may be limited and short lived. This review presents the currently available data in the literature on the diverse aspects of these disorders, including the definition, epidemiology, clinical presentation, pathogenesis, diagnosis, indications for surgery, and long-term outcomes.

Keywords: Children; Fissures; Fistula; Hemorrhoids; Rectal prolapse.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnosis
  • Abscess / therapy
  • Anus Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Anus Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Anus Diseases* / therapy
  • Child
  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Hemorrhoids* / diagnosis
  • Hemorrhoids* / epidemiology
  • Hemorrhoids* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Rectal Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Rectal Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Rectal Diseases* / therapy
  • Rectal Fistula* / diagnosis
  • Rectal Fistula* / therapy
  • Rectal Prolapse* / diagnosis
  • Rectal Prolapse* / etiology
  • Rectal Prolapse* / therapy