Endosonographic imaging of anorectal diseases

Engin G.

JOURNAL OF ULTRASOUND IN MEDICINE, vol.25, no.1, pp.57-73, 2006 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.7863/jum.2006.25.1.57
  • Page Numbers: pp.57-73


Objective. The normal sonographic anatomy of the anorectum, sonographic findings of anorectal diseases, and indications and limitations of endosonography compared with magnetic resonance imaging are reviewed. Methods. Endosonographic imaging was performed with a Siemens (Erlangen, Germany) FI 400 ultrasound scanner with an end-fire 7.5-MHz biplane endorectal probe and a B-K Medical (Sandhoften, Denmark) scanner with an 1850 axial-type side-fire 5.0- to 10.0-MHz rotating endoscopic probe. Results. Rectal carcinoma appears on endorectal sonooraphy as a low-echogenicity lesion that abruptly interrupts the normal sequence of layers. The internal anal sphincter is seen very clearly on endoanal sonography, and it is easy to appreciate atrophy and small tears of this sphincter Endoanal sonography cannot accurately show thinning of the external anal sphincter Peroxide-enhanced endoanal sonography is especially useful for patients with recurrent perianal fistulas in whom scarring should be distinguished from recurrent fistulas and detection of the internal opening. However, sonography does not provide an adequate deep and global display of all adjacent pelvic and perineal spaces. Conclusions. Endosonography can accurately stage primary rectal tumors and assess the internal anal sphincter. Peroxide-enhanced 3-dimensional imaging can increase the utility of endoanal sonography in detection and characterization of perianal fistulas and planning of optimal therapy. However, magnetic resonance imaging can be used a complementary modality to endosonography, especially for evaluation of external anal sphincter atrophy and deep pelvic inflammation.