The effects of isolated posterior compartment defects on lower urinary tract symptoms and urodynamic findings

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To determine any significant patterns among subjective and/or objective storage or voiding variables in women with isolated rectoceles or posterior enteroceles.


We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 23 women with isolated posterior compartment defects. Patient histories, physical examination findings, catheterized postvoid residual urine volume (PVR) after uroflowmetry, and urodynamic evaluations were reviewed. Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) were classed as pure storage (urgency, frequency, nocturia, etc.), pure voiding (hesitancy, straining, positional voiding, etc.), or mixed.


The mean (range) age of the women was 67 (48–85) years. On physical examination, 15 women had a grade 3 defect, and eight a grade 2 defect. Thirteen women reported symptoms related to their prolapse (vaginal bulge, splinting with defecation): nine reported pure storage symptoms, one pure voiding symptoms, and 12 mixed symptoms; two women relied on catheterization for bladder emptying. Only one woman reported no LUTS. An elevated PVR (>100 mL) was found in 11 women (48%). Urodynamic studies were available for 17 women, and revealed detrusor overactivity in nine of them. There were low maximum urinary flow rates (Qmax ≤ 15 mL/s) in 12 of the 17 women, and high voiding pressures at Qmax (Pdet.Qmax ≥ 20 cmH20) in 10. Both findings were present in seven of the 17 women. There was evidence of abdominal straining to void in nine of the 17 women.


The overwhelming majority of women with isolated posterior compartment defects reported bothersome LUTS and most had abnormal urodynamic variables. The findings suggest that significant posterior prolapse defects can cause bladder outlet obstruction.

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