International Urogynecology Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 137–142 | Cite as

Anterior vaginal wall length and degree of anterior compartment prolapse seen on dynamic MRI

  • Yvonne Hsu
  • Luyun Chen
  • Aimee Summers
  • James A. Ashton-Miller
  • James O. L. DeLancey
Original Article


The objective of the study was to determine the relationship between midsagittal vaginal wall geometric parameters and the degree of anterior vaginal prolapse. We have previously presented data indicating that about half of anterior wall descent can be explained by the degree of apical descent present (Summers et al., Am J Obstet Gynecol, 194:1438–1443, 2006). This led us to examine whether other midsagittal vaginal geometric parameters are associated with anterior wall descent. Magnetic resonance (MR) scans of 145 women from the prior study were suitable for analysis after eight were excluded because of inadequate visibility of the anterior vaginal wall. Subjects had been selected from a study of pelvic organ prolapse that included women with and without prolapse. All patients underwent supine dynamic MR scans in the midsagittal plane. Anterior vaginal wall length, location of distal vaginal wall point, and the area under the midsagittal profile of the anterior vaginal wall were measured during maximal Valsalva. A linear regression model was used to examine how much of the variance in cystocele size could be explained by these vaginal parameters. When both apical descent and vaginal length were considered in the linear regression model, 77% (R 2 = 0.77, p < 0.001) of the variation in anterior wall descent was explained. Distal vaginal point and a measure anterior wall shape, the area under the profile of the anterior vaginal wall, added little to the model. Increasing vaginal length was positively correlated with greater degrees of anterior vaginal prolapse during maximal Valsalva (R 2 = 0.30, p < 0.01) determining 30% of the variation in anterior wall decent. Greater degrees of anterior vaginal prolapse are associated with a longer vaginal wall. Linear regression modeling suggests that 77% of anterior wall descent can be explained by apical descent and midsagittal anterior vaginal wall length.


Pelvic organ prolapse Anterior prolapse Cystocele Apical descent Vaginal length Dynamic MRI 



We gratefully acknowledge the funding from NIH grant NICHD R01 HD038665 as well as investigator support from 5K12RR017607-04 and the Office for Research on Women’s Health and NICHD SCOR on Sex and Gender Factors Affecting Women’s Health P50 HD044406. This information was presented at the American Urogynecology Society meeting in October 2006.


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Copyright information

© International Urogynecology Journal 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yvonne Hsu
    • 1
  • Luyun Chen
    • 2
  • Aimee Summers
    • 1
  • James A. Ashton-Miller
    • 2
  • James O. L. DeLancey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyL4000 Women’s HospitalAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringL4000 Women’s HospitalAnn ArborUSA

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