This site is intended for healthcare professionals
Login | Register (NOW FREE)

Medical search

proctalgia fugax

FREE subscriptions for doctors and students... click here
You have 3 open access pages.

  • proctalgia fugax
    • clinical features
      • a severe, cramp-like pain of the rectum
      • lasts several seconds or minutes to up to half an hour
      • pain then disappears completely
      • attacks are infrequent, occurring less than five times a year in 51% of patients (1)
      • usually occurs at night - occurs with intervals of weeks to many months
      • prevalence estimates range from 8 to 18% (1)
        • only 17-20% of those affected report the symptoms to their physicians
        • prevalence rates in men and women vary
    • pathophysiology and psychological factors
      • identification of physiological mechanisms is difficult because of the short duration and sporadic, infrequent nature of this disorder
      • there is study evidence to suggest that smooth muscle spasm may be the cause of proctalgia fugax
      • psychological testing has revealed that many patients are perfectionistic, anxious, and/or hypochondriacal (1)
    • diagnosis
      • based on symptoms alone
      • there are no physical examination findings or laboratory tests that support the diagnosis
    • treatment
      • reassurance and explantation is all that is required for most patientts because episodes of pain are so brief
        • however a small group of patients have proctalgia fugax on a frequent basis and may require active treatment - there is study evidence showing that inhalation of salbutamol (a beta adrenergic agonist) shortens the duration of episodes of proctalgia (3)


  1. Whitehead WE et al.Functional disorders of the anus and rectum. Gut. 1999 Sep;45 Suppl 2:II55-9.
  2. Doctor (5/2/2005):27
  3. Eckardt VF, Dodt O, Kanzler G, et al. Treatment of proctalgia fugax with salbutamol inhalation. Am J Gastroenterol 1996;91:686-689


The information provided herein should not be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Copyright 2016 Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ®. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions LtdĀ® receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence. GPnotebook stores small data files on your computer called cookies so that we can recognise you and provide you with the best service. If you do not want to receive cookies please do not use GPnotebook.