International Urogynecology Journal vol:21 issue:7 pages:861-867
INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS: Major levator ani abnormalities (LAA) may lead to abnormal pelvic floor muscle contraction (pfmC) and secondarily to stress urinary incontinence (SUI), prolapse, or fecal incontinence (FI). METHODS: A retrospective observational study included 352 symptomatic patients to determine prevalence of LAA in underactive pfmC and the relationship with symptoms. On 2D/3D transperineal ultrasound, PfmC was subjectively assessed as underactive (UpfmC) or normal (NpfmC) and quantified. LAA, defined as a complete avulsion of the pubic bone, was analyzed using tomographic ultrasound imaging. RESULTS: LAA were found in 53.8% of women with UpfmC versus 16.1% in NpfmC (P < 0.001). Patients with UpfmC were less likely to reduce hiatal area on pfmC (mean 7% reduction vs 25% in NpfmC (P < 0.001)). An UpfmC was associated with FI (P = 0.002), not with SUI or prolapse of the anterior and central compartment. CONCLUSION: An underactive pfmC is associated with increased prevalence of LAA and FI.