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Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Mar;81(3):426-9.

Levator ani muscle morphology and recurrent genuine stress incontinence.

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Second Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital of Vienna, Austria.



To assess the impact of levator ani muscle morphology on the outcome of patients with genuine stress incontinence undergoing reconstructive surgery of the pelvic floor.


A follow-up investigation was performed on 30 patients from a previous study, who had undergone hysterectomy with combined anteroposterior vaginal repair for pelvic floor relaxation and genuine stress incontinence. Biopsy specimens of the pubococcygeal muscle had been obtained during posterior colporrhaphy and subsequently evaluated for evidence of striated muscle tissue. Eleven patients had striated muscle tissue in the biopsy specimens (group A), whereas 19 subjects did not (group B). Before operation and at 41 months (range 37-44) after operation, the patients underwent urodynamics, perineal sonography, and perineometry.


At follow-up, all patients in group A were continent, whereas ten of 19 patients (53%) in group B showed recurrent genuine stress incontinence (P < .01). Compared with group B (48.5 +/- 21.9%), group A patients (71.8 +/- 16.5%) had a significantly higher abdominal pressure transmission ratio at follow-up (P = .02). At postoperative perineal sonography, group A patients (107.7 +/- 14.0 degrees) showed a significantly smaller retrovesical angle during straining than did group B patients (134.6 +/- 25.9 degrees) (P < .01).


The levator ani muscle morphology has prognostic importance for the outcome of patients with genuine stress incontinence undergoing anteroposterior vaginal repair.

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