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Digital rectal exams in children who present with constipation

Report By: Nesba Naheed, Medical Student

Search checked by Rachel Jenner, Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine

Institution: Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK

Three-part question

In a [child presenting with constipation] is a [digital rectal examination] recommended to [confirm the diagnosis]?

Clinical scenario

A 5-year-old boy is brought to the Emergency Department by his mother. She complains that he has constipation. After examining the boy's abdomen you wonder whether in order to confirm the diagnosis you should perform a digital rectal exam (DRE).

Search strategy

Medline using the OVID interface 1950 to January Week 2 2010: ( OR exp Constipation/ exp Feces/ or exp feces impaction/ or stool$.mp OR faec$.mp) AND …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.