NCBI Bookshelf. Perianal abscesses are the most common type of anorectal abscesses. These abscesses can cause significant discomfort for patients. They are located at the anal verge and if left untreated can extend into the ischioanal space or intersphincteric space since these areas are continuous with the perianal space. They can also cause systemic infection if left untreated. Ninety percent of all anorectal abscesses are caused by non-specific obstruction and subsequent infection of the glandular crypts of the rectum or anus.
Most cases of perianal abscesses are sporadic, though there are certain situations which elevate the risk for developing the disease, such as diabetes mellitus , Crohn's disease , chronic corticosteroid treatment and others. Ischiorectal, inter- and intrasphincteric abscesses have been described. Anorectal abscesses are classified according to their anatomic location and the following are the most common types; Perianal abscess, Ischiorectal abscess, Intersphincteric abscess and Supralevator abscess. Ischiorectal abscess is formed when suppuration transverses the external anal sphincter into the ischiorectal space.
An anorectal abscess also referred to as an anal abscess, rectal abscess, perianal abscess, or perirectal abscess depending on its location is a pus-filled cavity that forms within the furrows of the anal canal called the anal sinuses. As your body tries to control the infection, white blood cells killed in the battle and other bodily fluids start to collect in the tissue, forming a pocket of pus. Abscesses can form near or within the anus or develop much higher up in the rectum itself. While an abscess can form spontaneously for no apparent reason, it is commonly associated with gastrointestinal disease, bowel irregularities, immune suppression, and even certain medications.
If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess Profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus. Anorectal infections are common problems presenting to the Emergency Department. Understanding anorectal anatomy is essential to make a diagnosis, institute proper treatment, and anticipate complications. Failure to diagnose and treat an extensive abscess may be life threatening. It is imperative to obtain a surgical consultation if one is unsure of the extent of an abscess.