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How to use perianal examination in children
  1. David Colvin1,
  2. Peter Mallett2,
  3. Naomi McMahon2,
  4. Thomas Bourke2,3,
  5. Andrew Thompson2,
  6. William McCallion1
  1. 1 Paediatric Surgery, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  2. 2 Paediatrics, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast, UK
  3. 3 Department of Medical Education, Queen’s University Belfast Faculty of Medicine Health and Life Sciences, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr. David Colvin, Paediatric Surgery, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast BT12 6BE, UK; david.colvin{at}


No examination of a child’s abdomen or gastrointestinal system is complete without an examination of the ’backside' or perineum, however there is often reluctance among paediatricians to perform this examination routinely. This article aims to describe how to use perineal examination in infants and children. It discusses the indications and stepwise approach to performing a per-rectal examination and interpretation of the findings one could expect to encounter. We include four cases encompassing the major conditions, both congenital and acquired, that paediatricians should be aware of and how they were managed in our institution.

  • perineum
  • crohn’s
  • anorectal
  • streptococcus
  • groove

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  • Contributors WMcC, AT, PM and DC developed the concept. All contributed to the manuscript. DC finalised the manuscript. AT, TB, WMcC reviewed the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.