THE SIGNIFICANCE OF WIDENING OF THE PRESACRAL SPACE AT CONTRAST RADIOGRAPHY IN INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE

Authors


Director, Gastroenterology Unit, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woodville, S.A. 5011.

Abstract

The width of the presacral space was measured prospectively at various levels in 100 persons without organic colonic or rectal disease who had barium enema X-ray examinations. A standard technique was employed. The most consistent measurement was obtained at the level opposite the S3-S4 disc space; readings varied between 2 mm and 16 mm. Using 16 mm as the upper limit of normal, and a similar technique of barium enema examination, the width of the presacral space at the S3-S4 disc level was measured in 66 patients with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis–49; Crohn's colitis–17). The width did not correlate with the severity of the disease process as indicated by sigmoidoscopic examination in proximity in time to the radiological examination. There was a relationship between increased width of the presacral space and the duration of the disease process.

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