Home | About Us | Current Issue | Ahead of print | Archives | Search | Instructions | Subscription | Feedback | Editorial Board | e-Alerts | Login 
Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons         
 Users Online:387 
  Print this page Email this page   Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size

Year : 2009  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 27-28

Rectal diaphragm in a patient with imperforate anus and rectoprostatic fistula

Department of Pediatric Surgery, Sir J J Group of Hospital, Mumbai - 400 008, India

Date of Web Publication31-Jul-2009

Correspondence Address:
Ashokanand Thakur
Ward 41, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Sir J J Group of Hospitals, Byculla, Mumbai
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9261.54814

Rights and Permissions



The association of rectal diaphragm in an imperforate anus has not been reported until now. A 1-year-old male presented with right transverse colostomy for high anorectal malformation. The patient had imperforate anus and a recto-prostatic fistula with rectal diaphragm. We managed the case by an ano-rectal pull through with excision of the diaphragm.

Keywords: Ano-rectal malformation, imperforate anus, rectal diaphragm

How to cite this article:
Thakur A, Dhende N P, Mane S B, Acharya H. Rectal diaphragm in a patient with imperforate anus and rectoprostatic fistula. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2009;14:27-8

How to cite this URL:
Thakur A, Dhende N P, Mane S B, Acharya H. Rectal diaphragm in a patient with imperforate anus and rectoprostatic fistula. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2009 [cited 2023 Jun 9];14:27-8. Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2009/14/1/27/54814

   Introduction Top

A rectal diaphragm with ano-rectal agenesis has not been reported until now. There are reports of a rectal diaphragm in the cases of rectal atresia where there is a normal anal canal. We are reporting a patient with a rectal diaphragm with imperforate anus and rectoprostatic fistula. The patient was suspected and managed initially as a case of high anorectal malformation.

   Case Report Top

A 1-year-old male presented to us with an absent anal opening and transverse colostomy, which was performed on day 2 of life at another hospital. Upon clinical examination, he had a flat bottom, two sacral pieces, and absent anocutaneous reflexes, which are consistent with high anorectal malformation.

An ultrasound of the abdomen showed single kidney on the left side. A micturating cystourethrogram showed grade IV reflux with anterior diverticulum of the urethra. A distal cologram was showing a distended colon without any fistula [Figure 1]. A renal scan confirmed the absence of the right kidney with a normal functioning left kidney.

Because of the single kidney with reflux, the patient initially underwent Cohen's transtrigonal ureteric reimplantation along with an excision of the dorsal diverticulum of the anterior urethra. After 2 months, the patient was scheduled for a posterior saggital anorectoplasty (PSARP). Intraoperatively, after opening the sphincter muscle, a complex rectal pouch was identified. The rectal pouch was opened at the midline at the distal most summit as done in routine posterior saggital anorectoplasty. This revealed a blind pouch with a recto-prostatic fistulous opening, which was an unusual finding for us. We tried to mobilise the rectum from below in the sub mucosal plane as further operation was not possible from the posterior route. The decision was made to mobilize the rectum through the abdominal route. The abdomen was opened by a left hockey stick incision and the rectum was mobilized. The rectum was dilated proximally; on opening of rectum, the diaphragm was found about 2 cm proximal to the distal end [Figure 2]. The terminal end of the rectum along with diaphragm was excised and a closure of the fistula was performed. The dilated rectum was tapered and an anoplasty done.

A histopathological examination of the excised specimen was consistent with the diagnosis of diaphragm. The patient is on regular follow-up of 8 months with no complaints. He underwent a colostomy closure 2 months ago with no complaints in the post-operative period.

   Discussion Top

The rectal diaphragm in anorectal agenesis with rectoprostatic fistula is a rare association. A search of the online database did not show any such reference. There are isolated case reports of a rectal diaphragm with or without fenestration with a normal anal opening. We propose that this is a rare and probably the first case report with such an association.

Embryologically the rectal diaphragm is included in a type of rectal atresia. [1] The embryology states that rectal atresia is due to a vascular accident occurring antenatally. The histology of the diaphragm shows a thin sheet of fibrous tissue in which there is some smooth muscle. [2]

Ano-rectal malformation is secondary to failure in differentiation of cloaca antenatally. Thus, the embryological correlation between ano-rectal malformation and rectal diaphragm is difficult to prove.

Clinical presentation of this association is the same as that for any ano-rectal malformation in the neonatal period. Thus, it is difficult to diagnose this association in the neonatal period. The anomaly is difficult to diagnose on a distal cologram as it mimics the ano-rectal malformation without fistula. The rectal diaphragm with ano-rectal agenesis can be diagnosed intraoperatively during posterior saggital ano rectoplasty. [3]

During PSARP, when the rectum is opened to locate the fistula, the diaphragm can be seen. In our case, the diaphragm was located proximal to the site of the fistula. In case the rectum is opened at its distal most limits, one finds the blind pouch and no proximal continuity of the lumen [Figure 3]. In such cases, a surgeon may become confused with a condition akin to the accidental opening of the urinary bladder. However, if the bladder is opened, the urinary catheter should be seen. If the urinary catheter is not seen, then rectal pouch incision should be extended proximally to find the proximal lumen of the rectal pouch. However, in our case, we closed the rectal pouch incision and abdominal PSARP with tackling of the rectoprostatic fistula. In our case, the rectal diaphragm was excised along with the distal rectum and tapering of the rectal pouch and an anoplasty was done. Postoperatively, the patient recovered well.

   References Top

1.Cole GJ. Congenital diaphragm in upper rectum. Br J Surg 1963;50:523-4.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Pena A, Devries PA. Posterior saggital anoplasty: Important technical considerations and new applications. J Pediatr Surg 1982;17:796-810.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Housten JM, et al . The embryology of anorectal malformations In: Anorectal Malformations in children. Holshneider AM, et al , editors. Springer. 2006. p. 49-63.  Back to cited text no. 3    


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]

This article has been cited by
1 Delayed presentation of congenital rectal stenosis associated with Down's syndrome and hypothyroidism: Case report
Tanvir Kabir Chowdhury, Md. Mozammel Hoque, Mahfuzul Kabir, Tahmina Banu
Clinical Case Reports. 2021; 9(11)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article


   Next article
   Previous article 
   Table of Contents
    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Article in PDF (701 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded302    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal

Contact us | Sitemap | Advertise | What's New | Copyright and Disclaimer | Privacy Notice

  2005 - Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow 

Online since 1st May '05