Are obstetric risk factors and bowel symptoms associated with defaecographic and manometric abnormalities in women awaiting hysterectomy?J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Apr; 24(3):274-8.JO
Abdominal hysterectomy has been shown to affect anorectal function. These studies are either population-based or have been performed retrospectively. It is not clear from the literature whether those subjects awaiting hysterectomy already have an element of pelvic floor failure and which may be related to obstetric risk factors. A complete anorectal assessment was performed in a group of women awaiting hysterectomy who did not volunteer any bowel symptoms. The patients studied were part of an ongoing study of the functional effects of abdominal hysterectomy. All had their anorectal function assessed before their respective surgery by a questionnaire (functional bowel score), Cleveland continence score, endoanal ultrasound (U/S), anal manometry, defaecatory proctogram and colonic transit. A detailed obstetric history, which included risk factors such as parity, type of delivery, duration of labour and elevated birth weight, were also recorded. Patients with previous bowel disease, bowel surgery and anal sphincter repair were excluded. There were 39 subjects with a median age of 43 years (range 31-65), respectively. Thirty-three rectocoeles and 22 intussusceptions were demonstrated. Two had poor puborectalis function, while five had cough incontinence. Two women had abnormal colonic transit. Thirteen had abnormal anal manometry. Endoanal ultrasound was normal in all patients. None of the obstetric risk factors were associated with rectocoele, intussusception or abnormal anal manometry. Low squeeze pressure was associated significantly with more bowel symptoms (P=0.03). However, rectocoele, intussusception, abnormal colonic transit, abnormal resting anal pressure and maximal tolerated volume were not statistically significantly associated with bowel symptoms. The majority of female subjects who were awaiting hysterectomy had physiological and proctographic abnormalities consistent with pelvic floor failure. Obstetric risk factors were not associated with rectocoele, intussusception, abnormal colonic transit and anal manometry in this cohort of patients. Similarly, the majority of proctographic abnormalities were not associated with bowel symptoms. However, a trend was noted associating bowel symptoms with manometric abnormalities.