- Anus: the opening of the rectum between the buttocks
- Sphincter: the muscles that surround the anus
- Anal verge: the area between the external and internal anal skin
- Rugae: folds of skin which radiate outward from the anus
Anal Findings in Sexual Abuse/Assault:
The anal examination may reveal findings that are secondary to trauma such as bruising/bleeding and can be correlated to a history of penetrating trauma from abuse/assault.
Alternatively, the anal examination may reveal findings that are “non-specific”. This means that the finding is not attributable to the sexual abuse allegation as it may be a normal variant or due to another cause.
Examples of non-specific findings include:
- Fissures (small split or tear in the mucosa lining the anus).
- Excoriations(abrasion to superficial layer of anal skin)
- Erythema (redness)
- Anal tag (protrusion of tissue at midline position)
- Diastasis Ani (smoothing of the anal skin)
- Increased skin pigmentation
- Thickened anal skin folds
- Venous congestion (pooling of blood in the veins around the anus – may be confused with bruising)
- Dilation of the anus