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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 43

of 'Urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse associated with pregnancy and childbirth'

Fascial and muscular abnormalities in women with urethral hypermobility and anterior vaginal wall prolapse.
Delancey JO
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Jul;187(1):93-8.
OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to assess the structural integrity of individual elements of the urethral and anterior vaginal wall support system.
STUDY DESIGN: Notes were made during retropubic operations for cystourethrocele and stress incontinence in 71 women aged 52 +/- 12.4 (SD) years. Vaginal support was assessed with the Baden-Walker system with the following average findings: urethra 1.9 +/- 0.6, bladder 1.9 +/- 1.0, apex 0.8 +/- 1.1, upper posterior wall 0.3 +/- 0.8, and rectocele 1.1 +/- 0.7. The presence of the following features was noted: paravaginal defect, integrity of the pubic and ischial attachments of the arcus tendineus fascia pelvis (ATFP), appearance of the ATFP on the sidewall, and abnormalities in the pubococcygeal muscle.
RESULTS: Paravaginal defects were present in 87.3% on the left and in 88.7% on the right. Detachment of the ATFP from the pubic bone was present in 1.4% (left) and 2.8% (right). The ATFP was detached from the ischial spine in 97.6% (left) and 95.1% (right). Remnants of the ATFP were present on the sidewall in 62% (left) and 63% (right). Of these, 9% extended one fourth the distance to the spine, 21% one half the distance, 3% three fourths the distance, and 17% all the way to the spine. The pubococcygeal muscle was visibly normal in 45% (left) and 39% (right). It showed localized atrophy in 22% (left) and 30% (right) and generalized atrophy in 22.5% (left) 30.0% (right).
CONCLUSION: The ATFP usually detaches from the ischial spine, but not from the pubis; slightly less than half of these women have visibly abnormal levator ani muscles.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, 48109-0276, USA. DeLancey@umich.med