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Journal of Coloproctology (Rio de Janeiro)

Print version ISSN 2237-9363On-line version ISSN 2317-6423


MURAD-REGADAS, Sthela Maria et al. Anatomical characteristics of anal fistula evaluated by three-dimensional anorectal ultrasonography: is there a correlation with Goodsall's theory?. J. Coloproctol. (Rio J.) [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.2, pp.83-89. ISSN 2317-6423.


We aimed to correlate the course of the anal fistula tract (T), location of the external opening (EO) and internal opening (IO) in anterior (A) and posterior (P) circumference using 3D-US according to Goodsall's rule.


151 patients with primary ptoglandular Transsphincteric fistulas were examined with 3D-US and compared with surgical finding. The type of the T (straight or curved), EO and IO were identified and divided into 3 Groups: GI: EO and IO are located in a position; GII: EO and IO are located in P position and GIII: OE and OI are located in the opposite position. The findings were correlated with Goodsall's rule.


74/151(49%) were included in GI, of them, 41 (55%) were male (33/44% had straight tract and 8/11% curved) and 33 (45%) female (15/20%-straight and 18/25%-curved). GII included 68 (45%), of them, 50 (74%) were male (39/57%-straight and 11/15%-curved) and 18 (26%) female (14/20%-straight and 04/8%-curved). GIII = 9 (6%) and all of them had curved tract. The overall concordance between 3D-US and surgical finding was 98% for tract and 96% for IO.


The 3D-US findings correlate with the Goodsall's rule in transsphincteric fistulas located in the anterior circumference straight type, in male, while in females the distribution of curved and straight paths is similar. In the posterior circumference no correlation was observed in both the sexes.

Keywords : Transsphincteric fistula Goodsall's rule; Three-dimensional anorectal ultrasonography.

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