The role of three-dimensional endoluminal ultrasound imaging in the evaluation of anorectal diseases: a review, 2008.

Gianpiero Gravante
Department of Colorectal Surgery, Whipps Cross University Hospital, Leytonstone, London, E11 1NR, UK


The authors conducted a review of the available English literature to evaluate the advantages of three-dimensional ultrasound for assessing anorectal pathology, to provide a state-of-the-art approach, and to compare this technique with conventional endoluminal ultrasound and other imaging methods.


All studies describing results obtained with three-dimensional ultrasound in the evaluation of anorectal pathologies, both alone and compared with other techniques, were selected.


Since 1996, 32 articles have been published. In tumor staging, specific data derived by three-dimensional reconstruction for the assessment of T invasion and nodal involvement were more accurate than endoluminal ultrasound and computed tomography. For evaluating perianal sepsis, the detection of secondary fistula tracts and fluid collections and the location of internal openings were superior to endoanal magnetic resonance imaging. In the evaluation of anal incontinence, the results for sphincter defects were similar to those obtained with endoanal magnetic resonance imaging.


Analysis of the literature confirmed that three-dimensional ultrasound is a valuable technique for assessing anorectal disorders, facilitating the interpretation of the images obtained, and providing additional data that in many cases have changed the operative approach.