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Abnormal spinal curvature and its relationship to pelvic organ prolapse.

Mattox TF, Lucente V, McIntyre P, Miklos JR, Tomezsko J.

Greenville Hospital System, Division of Urogynecology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of South Carolina, Greenville, USA.

OBJECTIVE: Intra-abdominal vector forces have been implicated in the development of genital prolapse. Because the normal spinal curvature appears to protect the pelvic cavity from direct upper abdominal forces, variations in spinal curvature may alter these vector forces and possibly potentiate the development of pelvic organ prolapse. This study was undertaken to evaluate the relationship of spinal curvature and pelvic organ prolapse, specifically, the loss of lumbar lordosis or pronounced thoracic kyphosis. STUDY DESIGN: A total of 363 patients referred for various complaints of urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse were included in this multicenter, prospective, case-control study. All patients underwent a detailed history with site-specific examinations; pelvic organ prolapse was quantitatively assessed according to the POPQ (pelvic organ prolapse quantitation) staging system. Spinal curvature was measured with a flexi-curve malleable rod when patients were in a fully erect position. Spinal curvature was then transferred to graph paper by tracing the flexicurve. Thoracic and lumbar curvatures were determined by measuring thoracic and lumbar lengths and widths, respectively. RESULTS: Ninety-two patients had abnormal spinal curvature according to the study criteria. Complete loss of lumbar lordosis was found in 69 patients. Of the 92 patients with an abnormal curvature, 84 currently had or previously had pelvic organ prolapse (sensitivity, 91%). When compared with patients with a normal curvature, patients with an abnormal spinal curvature were 3. 2 times more likely to have development of pelvic organ prolapse (odds ratio, 3.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.46 to 6.93; P =.002). There was no difference in the number of vaginal deliveries, weight of largest vaginally delivered infant, or body mass index. Only 11% (8/72) of patients with stage 0 prolapse had an abnormal spinal curvature, which increased to 30% (28/99) in patients with stage III prolapse (P =.042).

CONCLUSION: An abnormal change in spinal curvature, specifically, a loss of lumbar lordosis, appears to be a significant risk factor in the development of pelvic organ prolapse.

Architectural differences in the bony pelvis of women with and without pelvic floor disorders.
Handa VL, Pannu HK, Siddique S, Gutman R, VanRooyen J, Cundiff G.

Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21287, USA. Vhanda1@jhmi.edu

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the hypothesis that the architecture of the bony pelvis differs between women with and without pelvic floor disorders. METHODS: We designed a case-control study of women who had undergone magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pelvis at our institution. Records were reviewed to identify women with and without pelvic floor disorders (urinary or anal incontinence, other symptoms of urinary tract dysfunction, or pelvic organ prolapse). Pelvimetry techniques were standardized. Relevant measures included transverse diameter of the inlet, angle of the pubic arch, intertuberous diameter, interspinous diameter, sacrococcygeal length, depth of sacral curvature, anteroposterior conjugate, obstetrical conjugate, and anteroposterior outlet. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify women with pelvic floor disorders as a function of their pelvic dimensions, controlling for potentially confounding variables. RESULTS: Subjects included 59 women with pelvic floor disorders and 39 women without pelvic floor disorders. Women with pelvic floor disorders had a wider transverse inlet, wider intertuberous diameter, wider interspinous diameter, greater sacrococcygeal length, deeper sacral curvature, and narrower anteroposterior outlet. When controlling for the confounding effects of age, race, and parity, we found that a wider transverse inlet (odds ratio 3.425) and a shorter obstetrical conjugate (odds ratio 0.233) were significantly associated with pelvic floor disorders. CONCLUSION:

A wide transverse inlet and narrow obstetrical conjugate are associated with pelvic floor disorders. We speculate that these features of bony pelvic architecture may predispose the patient to neuromuscular and connective tissue injuries, leading to the development of pelvic floor disorders. PMID: 14662216 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1999 Feb;82(2):195-9.

The relation between height, foot length, pelvic adequacy and mode of delivery.
Van Bogaert LJ.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Transkei and Umtata General Hospital, South Africa. donna@phila.ns.healthlink.org.za

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the value of maternal height and foot length as predictors of pelvic adequacy and to evaluate the influence of body components' proportions on the mode of delivery. METHODS: Retrospective study of the anthropometry of women having normal vertex deliveries (NVD), caesarean sections (CS) and vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC). RESULTS: NVD patients were taller, had a longer vertebral column, longer lower limbs and longer feet than CS and than VBAC patients. The anthropometric measurements of VBAC patients yielded values intermediate between CS and NVD patients. The ratios of height to any of the other measured variables (vertebral column, lower limb and foot length) were similar in the three groups indicating that the body proportions were the same. CONCLUSION: Maternal height and foot length are of limited value as predictors of pelvic (in-)adequacy. The anthropometric features of women delivered by CS only are similar to those of women having a vaginal birth after Caesarean.

Maternal height, shoe size, and outcome of labour in white primigravidas: a prospective anthropometric study.
Mahmood TA, Campbell DM, Wilson AW.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.

A total of 563 white primigravid patients at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, were recruited in a prospective study to examine the association between maternal height, shoe size, and the outcome of labour. There was a significantly increased caesarean section rate in women of short stature but no association between mode of delivery and shoe size. Babies born vaginally had heavier birth weights with increasing height and shoe size. Babies born by caesarean section were heavier than those born vaginally, but their birthweight showed no relation with either height or shoe size. Shoe size is not a useful clinical predictor for the probability of cephalopelvic disproportion, and, although maternal height is a better clinical guide to pelvic adequacy in labour, 80% of mothers less than 160 cm tall delivered vaginally. A well conducted trial of labour should be considered in all primigravid patients with cephalic presentation irrespective of maternal height or shoe size if no obstetric complication exists.