This review deals first with the methodology of anorectal manometry. The methods of recording anorectal pressures with perfused catheters, sleeve catheters, water- or air-filled balloon catheters and microtransducers are presented and discussed as well as the various polygraphs used in this investigation. In the second part, the routine anorectal manometry and the parameters to be studied in this investigation are described. Then, the additional manoeuvres which have been described in anorectal manometry are discussed. Finally, the major results obtained in recto-anal dysfunctions are described, that is manometric findings in constipation in adults and children, in incontinence and in the descending perineum syndrome. The usefulness of anorectal manometry in surgical and various conditions is also discussed.