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Journal of Coloproctology (Rio de Janeiro)

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


MURAD-REGADAS, Sthela M. et al. Establishing the normal ranges of female and male anal canal and rectal wall vascularity with color Doppler anorectal ultrasonography. J. Coloproctol. (Rio J.) [online]. 2018, vol.38, n.3, pp.207-213. ISSN 2317-6423.

Study objectives:

To evaluate blood supply in the anal canal, rectal wall and mesorectal fat of men and women, using color Doppler endorectal sonography to establish normal ranges for vascular parameters.


A prospective cross-sectional study conducted at a tertiary-care hospital recruited asymptomatic volunteers (≤50 years). Vascularity percentage and index were calculated for defined regions.


Vascularity percentage and index were significantly higher in the puborectalis, mid-level external and upper internal anal sphincter compared to the low anal canal; these parameters were higher in men than in women at upper and middle levels of the inner anal canal structures. At mid-level, vascularity was greater in the external compared to the internal anal sphincter in both sexes; however, at the upper level it was greater in the puborectalis compared to the internal anal sphincter in women. Vascularity was greater in the rectal wall compared to the mesorectal fat, with no difference between middle and lower levels.


Blood supply is highest at upper levels of the anal canal; however, inner structures are better irrigated in men. Moreover, the rectal wall is better irrigated than the mesorectal fat. Establishing normal ranges may permit future comparisons of the studied structures in disease states as well as the hormonal and age related changes.

Keywords : Anal canal vascularization; Rectum vascularization; Color-doppler; Endoanal ultrasound; Endorectal ultrasound.

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