Ultrasound Indicators of Rectal Support Defect in Women With Obstructive Defecatory Symptoms

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Abstract

Objective

The anatomic and physiologic pathophysiology of obstructive defecatory symptoms is complex and poorly understood. As a consequence, there is no one surgical method that can achieve overall superiority. We aimed to investigate rectal architectural change in women with obstructive defecatory symptoms using three-dimensional pelvic floor ultrasound.

Methods

This retrospective cohort study included 65 women who were referred to our urogynecology clinic because of varied pelvic floor disorders between January 2013 and January 2014. Patients completed a standardized interview including PFDI-20 questionnaire and received a standard examination and assessment of pelvic floor by three-dimensional endovaginal ultrasound. Women were categorized to case and control based on their answers to questions 7, 8, and 14 on PFDI-20 (Colorectal and Anal Distress Index) questionnaire. In ultrasound images, levator plate descent angle, levator plate-probe distance, and rectal area have been measured and values have been compared among symptomatic and asymptomatic patients.

Results

Forty-five women with obstructive defecatory symptoms and 20 asymptomatic women entered the study. There was no significant difference in mean (SD) age (56.55 [SD] 13.29 vs 51.8 [15], P = 0.2), mean (SD) body mass index (27.39 [6.7] vs 24.2 [4.08], P = 0.11), and median (range) parity (3 [1–7] vs 2 [1–6], P = 0.15) among categories. There was significant difference in ultrasound measurements, levator plate descent angle, levator plate-probe distance, and rectal area, between women with obstructive defecatory symptoms and asymptomatic women.

Conclusions

Women with obstructive defecatory symptoms have wider rectum and descendent levator plate regardless of the stage of prolapse as measured by POPQ or the severity of rectocele.

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