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Published online: 2023-03-15

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Apical defect — the essence of cystocele pathogenesis?

Pawel Szymanowski1, Wioletta K. Szepieniec1, Hanna Szweda1, Janusz Ligeza2, Anna Sedakierska-Chudy3


Objectives: Lack of standardization causes misunderstandings in planning of cystocele treatment and the evaluation of surgical method effectiveness. The POP-Q System and DeLancey’s three levels of pelvic support do not account for the phenomenon of cystocele caused by an apical defect. We aimed to evaluate the impact of level I defect on the formation of cystocele.

Material and methods: Women reporting complaints related to bladder prolapse (cystocele) were subjected to a urogynecological examination. For this purpose, a simple and standardized method was used, based on the POP-Q System and DeLancey’s three levels of pelvic support. Furthermore, it was expanded by evaluating the impact of level I defect (apical defect) on prolapse at level II of the anterior compartment.

Results: In total, contribution of an apical defect to the pathogenesis of cystocele was founded in 72.2% of 302 female patients included in this study. In 30.8% the cystocele was caused exclusively by an apical defect. In turn, in 41.4% of patients, it resulted from concomitant apical and level II defect of the anterior compartment (lateral or central).

Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that an apical defect may play a significant role in the development of a cystocele. Hence, it could be essential to take the influence of an apical defect on level II in anterior compartment into account when planning a surgical procedure. The authors suggest that lack of such procedures potentially exposes some cystocele patients to ineffective treatment.

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