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Arquivos de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0004-2803On-line version ISSN 1678-4219


MEDEIROS, Lilian Cristiane da Silva et al. Clinical characteristics of pediatric patients with chronic constipation according to age group. Arq. Gastroenterol. [online]. 2007, vol.44, n.4, pp.340-344. ISSN 0004-2803.

BACKGROUND: There was no study evaluating clinical characteristics of constipation according pediatric age groups. AIM: To evaluate the clinical characteristics of patients with chronic constipation according to age group. METHODS: This retrospective study evaluated the demographic data and clinical characteristics of pediatric patients with chronic constipation who had been admitted to an outpatient clinic between May 1995 and December 2000. Data was analyzed according to the followings age groups: infants, pre-school, school age and adolescent. RESULTS: Five hundred and sixty one patients were included in the study. The percentage of patients according to age groups were: infants (19.1%), pre-school (42.9%), school age (26.9%), and adolescents (11.0%). There was no statistical gender difference among the four age groups. Less than three bowel movements per week were observed more frequently in pre-school (65.8%) and school age (59.6%) than in infants (52.4%) and adolescents (43.1%). Fecal escape ("soiling") was found in 75.6% of the pre-school patients aged more than 48 months, in 68.2% of the school age and in 76.7% of the adolescents. Soiling was more frequent in boys (80.7%) than in girls (50.0%) only in school age children. Retentive posture (67.6%, 40.7%, 27.2%), fear for defecation (70.2%, 44.2%, 29.7%) and abdominal pain (80.8%, 69.6%, 73.6%) were observed, respectively, more frequently in pre-school than in school age and adolescents. CONCLUSION: There were differences in clinical characteristics according to age group. However, prolonged duration of constipation and an elevated number of complications were observed in all age groups, especially fecal soiling and abdominal pain.

Keywords : Constipation; Age distribution; Child, preschool; Child. Adolescent.

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