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Effect of a subsequent pregnancy on anal sphincter integrity and function after obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI) - Effect of a subsequent pregnancy on anal sphincter integrity and function after obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI) - THDLAB - IT
Effect of a subsequent pregnancy on anal sphincter integrity and function after obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI)
Okeahialam N. A., Thakar R., Sultan A. H. International Urogynecology Journal
- risorsa online https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00192-020-04607-8
Introduction and hypothesis Endoanal ultrasound (EAUS) and anal manometry are used in the assessment women with a history of obstetric anal sphincter injury (OASI), both postpartum and in a subsequent pregnancy, to aid counselling regarding mode of delivery (MOD).
A prospective observational study between 2012 to 2020 was completed. Women were reviewed 3 months postpartum following OASI and in the second half of a subsequent pregnancy. Anorectal symptoms were measured using the validated St Mark’s Incontinence Score (SMIS: asymptomatic to mild symptoms = ≤ 4). Anal manometry (incremental maximum squeeze pressure [iMSP: normal = > 20 mmHg]) and EAUS (abnormal = sphincter defect > 1 h in size) were performed.
One hundred forty-six women were identified and 67.8% had an anal sphincter defect ≤ 1 h in size postnatally. In those with a defect ≤ 1 h, postpartum mean iMSP and SMIS significantly improved in a subsequent pregnancy (p = 0.04 and p = 0.01, respectively). In women with a defect > 1 h, there was no significant difference between the mean iMSP or SMIS score postnatally compared to a subsequent pregnancy. At both time points, significantly more women had an anal sphincter defect ≤ 1 h and SMIS of ≤ 4 (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001 respectively) compared to those with a defect < 1 h. In addition, significantly more women had an anal sphincter defect ≤ 1 h and iMSP ≥ 20 mmHg (p < 0.001). Overall, out of the 146 women included in this study, 76 (52.1%) with a defect ≤ 1 h also had an iMSP ≥ 20 mmHg and SMIS ≤ 4 at 3 months postpartum.
Women who remain asymptomatic with normal anal manometry and no abnormal sphincter defects on EAUS postnatally do not need to have these investigations repeated in a subsequent pregnancy and can be recommended to have a vaginal delivery. If our protocol was modified, over half of the women in this study could have had their MOD recommendation made in the postnatal period alone.