Analyzing fecal loading and retention patterns by abdominal X-rays of hospitalized older adults: A retrospective study

Jen Tzer Gau*, Parth Patel, Jen Jung Pan, Tzu Cheg Kao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Aging may affect ascending colon (AC) differently from descending colon (DC) and increase the risk of fecal loading (FL) in AC. Methods: Patients aged ≥65 years admitted to a community hospital were analyzed by abdominal x-ray for fecal loads and stool retention patterns. FL was scored between 0 and 5 (severe) on each segment of colon with a possible total score 20. Mean segment scores ≥3.5 were designated as high scores for both AC and DC. Logistic regression was performed between groups to identify factors associated with FL patterns. Results: Groups identified were high FL in both AC and DC (N = 21, 17.2%), FL predominantly in AC (N = 38, 31.1%), low FL in both AC and DC (N=60, 49.2%), and FL low in AC and high in DC (N = 3, 2.5%). Among 71 patients with total FL scores ≥13 (indicating significant stool retention), 37 (52.1%) had the FL predominantly in AC. Patients prescribed antibiotic(s) prior to hospitalization had lower odds of FL predominantly in AC (adjusted odds ratio = 0.18, 95% confidence interval = 0.04–0.84) compared to the group of low FL in both AC and DC with the adjustment of confounders. Conclusion: This study found that 52.1% of those with significant stool retention on x-ray had the FL predominantly in AC. Antibiotic use was associated with lower odds of having FL predominately in AC. This study provided insights of FL distribution in colon and AC could be an area for significant stool burden in older adults with stool retention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalAging Medicine
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Constipation
  • colon
  • fecal loading
  • radiography

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