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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Mar;49(3):394-397. doi: 10.1002/uog.15828. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

The 'bother' of obstructed defecation.

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Sydney Medical School Nepean, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rochester, New York, NY, USA.
Departamento de Ginecología y Obstetricia, Clínica Alemana de Santiago-Universidad del Desarrollo, Chile.



To examine the relationship of visual analog scale (VAS) 'bother' scores for obstructed defecation (OD) with demographic data, physical examination and sonographic findings of the posterior compartment.


All patients seen at a urogynecology clinic between January and October 2013 were included. Patients were diagnosed with OD if they had any of the following: incomplete bowel emptying, straining with bowel movement or need for digitation. Patients used a VAS to rate OD bother on a scale of 0-10 (0, no bother; 10, worst imaginable bother). For each patient, a comprehensive history was obtained, the International Continence Society Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification was performed and four-dimensional translabial ultrasound volumes were recorded on maximal Valsalva maneuver. Linear and multiple regression models were used to correlate bother VAS scores with demographic, clinical and sonographic findings.


Among 265 patients included in the analysis, 61% had OD symptoms with a mean VAS bother score of 5.6. OD bother scores were associated with a history of previous prolapse surgery (P = 0.0001), previous hysterectomy (P = 0.0006), descent of the posterior compartment (Bp; P = 0.004) and hiatal dimensions (Pb and Gh + Pb; P = 0.006 and P = 0.004). OD bother was associated with the following sonographic findings: true rectocele (P = 0.01), depth of rectocele (P = 0.04), descent of rectal ampulla (P = 0.02), enterocele (P = 0.03) and rectal intussusception (P < 0.0001).


VAS bother scores are associated with both clinical and sonographic measures of posterior compartment descent. Rectal intussusception was most likely to result in highly bothersome symptoms of OD. Copyright © 2015 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


obstructed defecation; posterior compartment; rectal intussusception; rectocele; translabial ultrasound; visual analog scale

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