Botulinum toxin injection for the treatment of chronic anal fissure: uni- and multivariate analysis of the factors that promote healing

Giuseppe Brisinda, Maria Michela Chiarello, Anna Crocco, Anna Rita Bentivoglio, Maria Cariati, Serafino Vanella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose Anal fissure is caused by a pathological contraction of the internal anal sphincter. Lateral internal sphincterotomy remains the gold standard for the treatment of fissure. Botulinum toxin injections have been proposed to treat this condition without any risk of permanent injury of the internal sphincter. We investigate clinical and pathological variables and the effects of different dosage regimens of botulinum toxin to induce healing in patients with idiopathic anal fissure. Methods This is a retrospective study at a single center. The patients underwent a pre-treatment evaluation that included clinical inspection of the fissure and anorectal manometry. We collected and analyzed demographic data, pathological variables, associated pathological conditions, and treatment variables. Success was defined as healing of the fissure, and improvement of symptoms was defined as asymptomatic persistent fissure. Results The findings of 1003 patients treated with botulinum toxin injections were reported. At 2 months evaluation, complete healing was evident in 780 patients (77.7%). Resting anal tone (77.1 +/- 18.9 mmHg) was significantly lower from baseline (P < 0.0001) and from 1-month value (P = 0.0008). Thirty-nine not healed patients underwent lateral internal sphincterotomy, and 184 were re-treated with 50 UI of botulinum toxin. In these patients, the healing rate was 93.9% (171 patients). Dose and injection site of toxin correlates with healing rate. There were no relapses during an average of about 71 months. Conclusion Our data show that injection of botulinum toxin into the internal anal sphincter is a safe and effective alternative to surgery in patients with chronic anal fissure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)693-700-700
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Anal Canal
  • Botulinum Toxins
  • Botulinum toxin
  • Chronic Disease
  • Chronic anal fissure
  • Fissure in Ano
  • Humans
  • Lateral internal sphincterotomy
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


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