Clinical Differentiation between a Normal Anus, Anterior Anus, Congenital Anal Stenosis, and Perineal Fistula: Definitions and Consequences—The ARM-Net Consortium Consensus

ARM-Net consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the past, an anteriorly located anus was often misdiagnosed and treated as an anorectal malformation (ARM) with a perineal fistula (PF). The paper aims to define the criteria for a normal anus, an anterior anus (AA) as an anatomic variant, and milder types of ARM such as congenital anal stenosis (CAS) and PF. An extensive literature search was performed by a working group of the ARM-Net Consortium concerning the subject “Normal Anus, AA, and mild ARM”. A consensus on definitions, clinical characteristics, diagnostic management, and treatment modalities was estab-lished, and a diagnostic algorithm was proposed. The algorithm enables pediatricians, midwives, gynecologists, and surgeons to make a timely correct diagnosis of any abnormally looking anus and initiate further management if needed. Thus, the routine physical inspection of a newborn should include the inspection of the anus and define its position, relation to the external sphincter, and caliber. A correct diagnosis and use of the presented terminology will avoid misclassifications and allow the initiation of correct management. This will provide a reliable comparison of different therapeutic management and outcomes of these patient cohorts in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number831
JournalChildren
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • ARM-Net Consortium
  • anal position index
  • anal stenosis
  • anorectal malformation
  • anterior anus
  • perineal fistula

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