Journal List > Korean J Gastroenterol > v.55(5) > 1006665

Korean J Gastroenterol. 2010 May;55(5):316-324. Korean.
Published online May 27, 2010.
Copyright © 2010 The Korean Society of Gastroenterology
Diagnosis of Constipation: a Systematic Review
Seung-Jae Myung, M.D., Tae Hee Lee, M.D.,* Kyu Chan Huh, M.D., Suck Chei Choi, M.D., Chong-Il Sohn, M.D.,§ and The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
*Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Konyang University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Wonkwang University, School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea.
§Department of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Correspondence to: Chong-Il Sohn, M.D. Department of Internal Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine, 108, Pyeong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-746, Korea. Tel: +82-2-2001-2057, Fax: +82-2-2001-2610, Email:

To diagnose constipation accurately in self-reported constipated patients is very important not to miss organic disease and prevent therapeutic abuse. To investigate the etiology of functional constipation is also important to determine the therapeutic modality of constipation. In this systemic review, the clinical usefulness of symptom evaluation, diagnostic tests to rule out organic and systemic disease, and functional tests to discriminate underlying pathophysiology in the diagnosis of constipation were discussed. No specific symptoms or tests were available to predict organic versus functional constipation or differentiate slow transit constipation versus evacuation disorder. Therefore, collaborative studies are necessary to determine the pathophysiology of this disorder.

Keywords: Constipation; Diagnosis


Fig. 1
Flow chart for searching strategy.
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Fig. 2
MR defecography in patient with constipation. Prominent anal sphincter hypertrophy was noted (white arrow).
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Table 1
Functional Constipation according to ROME II Diagnostic Criteria
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Table 2
Functional Constipation according to ROME III Diagnostic Criteria
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Table 3
Classification of Constipated Patients
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