Long-term results of "chemical sphincterotomy" for chronic anal fissure: A prospective study

Joseph Lysy, Eran Israeli, Sharon Levy, Gloria Rozentzweig, Nourit Strauss-Liviatan, Eran Goldin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Pharmacologic anal sphincter relaxants promote fissure healing; however, their effect is transient and the risk of late recurrence remains uncertain. METHODS: From August 1997 to August 2002, patients with chronic anal fissure attending our outpatient clinic were treated with a protocol that included: topical isosorbide dinitrate, 2.5 mg, or nifedipine, 0.2 percent t.i.d., or the combination of both. Botulinum toxin 20 units was injected to the internal anal sphincter to those who failed. All the patients were contacted and interviewed during November to December 2002. RESULTS: Follow-up was a median of 47.43 ± 13 (range, 4.7-60) months. A total of 455 patients completed the study; 323 patients (71 percent) healed at follow-up ending: 170 of the healed patients had one or more recurrences that responded to further treatment (37.4 percent), whereas 153 patients (33.6 percent) healed and had no recurrences. One hundred thirty-two patients (29 percent) did not heal and were referred to lateral sphincterotomy. Long intervals between symptoms appearance and treatment initiation decreased healing and increased recurrence rates (P = 0.03 and 0.01 respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Topical treatment is effective for patients with chronic anal fissure, at short-term and long-term periods. Because for many patients it is not a definitive treatment, it can be offered to those who are ready to receive repeated treatments. Longer intervals between symptom appearance and treatment initiation negatively affects fissure healing and recurrence rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-864
Number of pages7
JournalDiseases of the Colon and Rectum
Volume49
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Botulinum toxin
  • Chronic anal fissure
  • Isosorbide dinitrate
  • Nifedipine

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