The London Classification: Improving Characterization and Classification of Anorectal Function with Anorectal Manometry

Purpose of Review

Objective measurement of anorectal sensorimotor function is a requisite component in the clinical evaluation of patients with intractable symptoms of anorectal dysfunction. Regrettably, the utility of the most established and widely employed investigations for such measurement (anorectal manometry (ARM), rectal sensory testing and the balloon expulsion test) has been limited by wide variations in clinical practice.

Recent Findings

This article summarizes the recently published International Anorectal Physiology Working Group (IAPWG) consensus and London Classification of anorectal disorders, together with relevant allied literature, to provide guidance on the indications for, equipment, protocol, measurement definitions and results interpretation for ARM, rectal sensory testing and the balloon expulsion test.


The London Classification is a standardized method and nomenclature for description of alterations in anorectal motor and sensory function using office-based investigations, adoption of which should bring much needed harmonization of practice.

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