Predictors of slow colonic transit in children

Zainab Ridha, Rakesh Quinn, Geoffrey David Hain Croaker*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Slow transit constipation (STC) and functional fecal retention (FFR) are two forms of severe intractable constipation in childhood diagnosed by nuclear transit studies (NTS). This retrospective study aims to identify the predicting factors for STC and FFR by looking at the association with neuropsychiatric disorders (NPD), obesity, family history of constipation and atopic disease.

    Patients and methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on children with intractable constipation referred for NTS between 1st April 2003 and 1st April 2014. Comparisons were made between STC, FFR and normal transit patients with regards to NPD, obesity (BMI z score >95th percentile), family history of constipation in first and second-degree relatives and atopic disease which included food allergy, asthma and eczema.

    Conclusion: Neuropsychiatric disorders, in particular autism, are useful predictors of STC and FFR in children. Obesity may be associated with a higher risk of developing chronic constipation.

    Results: Between 2003 and 2014, 97 patients were referred for a NTS. Out of 36 patients with NPD, 21 (58.3 %) had STC and 13 (36.1 %) had FFR (p < 0.05). 15.8 % of patients with constipation were obese, compared to 6.4 % in the general Australian paediatric population (p < 0.05). There was no significant association between constipation and atopic disease or family history.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-142
    Number of pages6
    JournalPediatric Surgery International
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


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