Send to

Choose Destination
Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2005 Jun;45(3):187-90.

Paravaginal defects: a comparison of clinical examination and 2D/3D ultrasound imaging.

Author information

University of Sydney, Western Clinical School, Penrith, New South Wales, Australia.



Paravaginal defects are often assumed to be the underlying anatomical abnormality in anterior compartment descent. Neither clinical examination nor ultrasound assessment are generally accepted diagnostic modalities.


To compare clinical examination and translabial 3D ultrasound in the detection of such defects.


Fifty-nine women without previous prolapse or incontinence surgery were seen prospectively. Clinical and ultrasound assessments were carried out in blinded fashion. 3D translabial ultrasound was undertaken after voiding and supine. Volumes were acquired at rest, on Valsalva and on levator contraction. Loss of paravaginal support ('tenting') in the axial plane was taken to signify paravaginal defects.


Paravaginal defects were reported clinically in 14 cases on the left (24%), 19 times on the right (32%). Two 3D ultrasound examinations did not yield satisfactory volumes, leaving 57 for analysis. Neither midsagittal nor coronal views yielded data that correlated with clinical assessments. In the axial plane there was absence of tenting at rest in 32/57 (57%) patients, but this did not correlate with clinical findings. Loss of tenting on Valsalva was observed less often (21/57, 37%) and was weakly associated with clinically observed lateral defects (P = 0.036).


Pelvic floor ultrasound in midsagittal, axial or coronal planes does not correlate well with clinical assessment for paravaginal defects. This could be due to poor clinical assessment technique or limitations of the ultrasound method. On the other hand, paravaginal defects may be uncommon or clinically irrelevant. On present knowledge, the paravaginal defect has to be regarded as an unproven concept.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center