Campbell-Walsh Urology, 11th Edition


Urine Transport, Storage, and Emptying


Evaluation and Management of Women with Urinary Incontinence and Pelvic Prolapse

Kathleen C. Kobashi


  1. Which of the following is nota risk factor for urinary incontinence?
  2. Increased body mass index (BMI)
  3. Male gender
  4. Fecal incontinence
  5. Smoking
  6. increased age
  7. Based on the CARE trial, patients without stress incontinence undergoing a sacrocolpopexy should undergo sacrocolpopexy:
  8. only.
  9. with urethral bulking injection.
  10. with Burch colposuspension.
  11. with Burch only if occult stress incontinence is noted.
  12. followed by urodynamics if de novo stress incontinence develops postoperatively.
  13. A 49-year-old woman has a POP-Q score that is recorded as Aa-3, Ba-3, Ap-3, Bp-3. She has:
  14. no prolapse.
  15. stage 1 prolapse.
  16. stage 2 prolapse.
  17. stage 3 prolapse.
  18. stage 4 prolapse.
  19. A patient is suspected of having a urinary tract–vaginal fistula. Which method would be the best dye test method to facilitate diagnosis of an isolated ureterovaginal fistula?
  20. Oral pyridium
  21. Intravesical indigo carmine
  22. Intravenous indigo carmine
  23. Simultaneous oral pyridium and intravenous indigo carmine
  24. Simultaneous oral pyridium and intravesical indigo carmine
  25. A healthy 65-year-old woman has bothersome prolapse and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Exam shows stage 3 anterior prolapse and no apical or posterior prolapse or stress incontinence. On urodynamics she has a stable bladder and no SUI. The next step is repeat stress testing with:
  26. the urethral catheter removed.
  27. the prolapse reduced.
  28. the prolapse reduced and the urethral catheter removed.
  29. both the rectal and urethral catheters removed.
  30. a smaller caliber urethral catheter.
  31. The POP-Q (Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification) system:
  32. is a simple six-point quantification system for pelvic prolapse.
  33. was created in an effort to quantify pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence.
  34. includes six specific points of position measurement in relation to the introitus.
  35. includes a simplified five-level staging system that does not require listing each of the points specifically.
  36. includes measurement of the total vaginal length performed withoutreduction of the prolapse.
  37. A 34-year-old female is undergoing urodynamics for symptoms of urinary hesitancy. She is noted to have an absence of electromyelogram (EMG) recruitment with a squeezing of the clitoris. This represents a:
  38. disruption at the level of sacral nerve roots 2-4.
  39. dysfunction in the cauda equina.
  40. positive bulbocavernosus reflex (BCR).
  41. normal finding in 30% of normal females.
  42. problem with technique in assessing for the BCR.
  43. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a safety statement regarding the use of mesh in the pelvic floor that applied to:
  44. slings only.
  45. transvaginal prolapse repairs only.
  46. transabdominal prolapse repairs only.
  47. all prolapse repairs.
  48. all slings and pelvic prolapse repairs.
  49. A 62-year-old man has bothersome urinary frequency and urgency associated with rare leakage. He has no obstructive symptoms, and postvoid residual (PVR) is 20 mL. Urinalysis is negative. The only therapy he has tried is a 2-week course of oxybutynin, but he is currently on no medications. The next step is:
  50. behavioral therapy, including dietary modification, fluid management, and bladder training.
  51. alpha-blocker therapy.
  52. repeat a trial of antimuscarinic therapy.
  53. beta-3 agonist therapy.
  54. combination of antimuscarinic and beta-3 agonist therapy.
  55. "Eyeball urodynamics" can provide information regarding:
  56. detrusor compliance.
  57. bladder outlet obstruction.
  58. abdominal leak point pressure.
  59. detrusor leak point pressure.
  60. detrusor-sphincter coordination.
  61. Multichannel urodynamics:
  62. is the most accurate diagnostic tool available for the evaluation of incontinence.
  63. should be used in all patients with incontinence.
  64. includes three directly measured values: detrusor pressure (Pdet), vesical pressure (Pves), and abdominal pressure (Pabd).
  65. is not helpful in determining if a patient is at risk of developing upper tract deterioration.
  66. all of the above.
  67. Urodynamics should be considered in which of the following circumstances?
  68. In patients in whom conservative measures have failed
  69. In patients in whom the clinical picture is unclear
  70. In patients in whom the symptoms cannot be confirmed by the clinician
  71. In patients who have undergone previous pelvic floor reconstruction
  72. All of the above
  73. Electromyelography should:
  74. be performed on all patients undergoing urodynamics.
  75. demonstrate recruitment during the filling phase.
  76. be active during coughing.
  77. be silent with BCR.
  78. be active during the voiding phase.


  1. b. Male gender. Obesity, advanced age, female gender, smoking, and associated pelvic floor disorders are risk factors for the development of urinary incontinence.
  2. c. With Burch colposuspension. The CARE (Colpopexy and Urinary Reduction Efforts) trial was designed to evaluate whether a Burch colposuspension performed at the time of sacrocolpopexy for prolapse in women who did not have preoperative SUI reduced postoperative SUI.The study demonstrated a significantly higher incontinence rate at all points of follow-up in the women who did not undergo a Burch (Brubaker et al., 2006).* This landmark study was performed with the Burch as the anti-incontinence procedure of choice, though one may deduce that a sling could be substituted for the Burch colposuspension. One would not choose urethral injection in light of the fact that the patient is already proceeding with surgery, particularly given the higher success rates and durability of response with available surgical options.
  3. a. No prolapse.The Pelvic Organ Prolapse-Quantification ("POP-Q") system (Bump et al., 1996) is a nine-measure system that was created in an effort to provide objectivity to POP quantification. Six vaginal points labeled Aa, Ba, C, D, Ap, and Bp are measured in relation to the hymenal ring during Valsalva maneuver. Aa and Ba represent points along the anterior vaginal wall, whereas Ap and Bp represent the posterior wall. Point C is the most distal point of the vaginal cuff or cervix, and D is the distance to the posterior fornix and is measured only if the cervix is still present. Points above the hymen are considered negative, and points below the hymen are positive with a maximal established range of − 3 to + 3. The remaining three points are the genital hiatus (gh), which represents the size of the vaginal opening; the perineal body (pb), which represents the distance between the vagina and the anus; and the total vaginal length (tvl), which is measured by reducing the prolapse and measuring the depth of the vagina. A staging system based on these measurements ranges from stage 0 (no prolapse), in which all A and B points are − 3, to stage 4, in which the leading edge is represented by an absolute number which is equal to or greater than (tvl-2) cm. This number is preceded by a + sign as it is below the hymen.
  4. e. Simultaneous oral pyridium and intravesical indigo carmine.Oral pyridium will be excreted in the urine, so it will discolor a vaginal tampon whether the fistula is vesicovaginal or ureterovaginal or both. Intravenous indigo carmine would also demonstrate tampon staining in a similar pattern, but this is not practical as it involves the need for intravenous access. Presumably, staining higher on the tampon would indicate a ureterovaginal fistula, whereas lower staining would suggest a vesicovaginal fistula; however, it can be difficult to differentiate with certainty because the dye can diffuse, and 12% of patients with a vesicovaginal fistula have a concomitant ureteral fistula. Direct placement of dye (i.e., indigo carmine or methylene blue) into the bladder would only discolor the tampon if there is involvement of the bladder, but an isolated ureterovaginal fistula would be missed with this method. The best dye administration to evaluate for an isolated ureterovaginal fistula would be simultaneous intravesical blue dye and oral pyridium that would reveal orange staining only.
  5. b. The prolapse reduced. When a patient who has subjective SUI and high grade prolapse does not elicit SUI on urodynamic studies (UDS), the American Urological Association/SUFU urodynamics guidelines recommend reduction of the prolapse and repeat stress testing.In patients who have SUI with no prolapse, the next step in such a situation would be to repeat stress testing with the urethral catheter removed. In this situation, one would first repeat stress testing with the prolapse adequately reduced, followed by removal of the urethral catheter. Although downsizing the catheter or removing all catheters might result in demonstration of the leakage, this is not necessary nor is it the recommendation of the guidelines.
  6. d. Includes a simplified five-level staging system that does not require listing each of the points specifically. POP-Q is a nine-point system that was created to objectify the assessment of pelvic organ prolapse. It measures six specific points in the vagina in relation to the hymen. The remaining three points include the total vaginal length, measured with the vagina completely reduced; the perineal body; and the genital hiatus. It has been simplified into a five-stage system that does not require specific listing of each of the nine points.
  7. d. Normal finding in 30% of normal females. BCR represents S2-4 and is present in all normal males and 70% of normal females.It is elicited by squeezing the glans penis or clitoris. During urodynamics, a positive BCR is represented by increased EMG activity.
  8. b. Transvaginal prolapse repairs only.In 2011, the FDA released a safety communication (FDA website) regarding mesh placed transvaginally specifically for the repair of pelvic prolapse. Although the communication specifically excluded slings and transabdominally placed mesh for prolapse repair, unfortunately, subsequent media communication regarding mesh litigation created patient confusion and concern about the use of mesh in the pelvic floor in general. This prompted a joint response from the Society of Urodynamics, Female Pelvic Medicine and Urogenital Reconstruction (SUFU) and the American Urogynecology Society (AUGS) in 2014 (SUFU and AUGS websites).
  9. a. Behavioral therapy, including dietary modification, fluid management, and bladder training.This patient has technically not yet tried the first line of therapy according to the OAB guidelines. The best response is behavioral therapy, which entails bladder exercises to train the bladder to overcome the sense of urgency when it occurs, pelvic floor exercises, fluid management, and avoidance of bladder irritants. Responses c, d, and e are all reasonable options to try subsequently in conjunction with behavioral therapy. Alpha-blockade would not be expected to be helpful in this situation, in which the patient has no obstructive symptoms.
  10. a. Detrusor compliance."Eyeball UDS" is a simple alternative to full multichannel UDS that can provide ample information in selected patients. The study can determine bladder sensation, compliance, stability, and capacity as well as outlet competence and PVR. A 60-mL catheter tip syringe with the barrel removed is placed into the end of the catheter, through which the bladder is filled by gravity. The height of the meniscus above the bladder represents the intravesical pressure. During the filling phase, a rise and fall in the meniscus may represent bladder overactivity, whereas a consistent gradual rise suggests compromised detrusor compliance. Because of the absence of the abdominal pressure (Pabd) channel, no information about the contribution of abdominal pressure is gleaned, and it is therefore not possible to definitively establish the presence or absence of significant outlet obstruction. Similarly, no information about urethral function or EMG is afforded by this method, thereby making c, d, and e incorrect responses.
  11. a. Is the most accurate diagnostic tool available for the evaluation of incontinence.Multichannel urodynamics is currently the most accurate diagnostic tool available for the evaluation of urinary incontinence. Whether it is necessary in the assessment of all patients with urinary incontinence remains controversial. Findings on urodynamics, which include direct measurements of vesical and abdominal pressures (Pves and Pabd, respectively) and a calculated measure of detrusor pressure (Pdet), can provide helpful information, including findings such as elevated Pdet that may suggest a patient is at increased risk of developing upper tract deterioration.
  12. e. All of the above.Although a clinician may reasonably forego performing UDS on the index patient with SUI and no urinary urgency, the guidelines state that UDS may be considered in patients who are considering undergoing invasive, potentially morbid or irreversible treatments. This is left to the clinician, and the philosophy is that if the study may answer an unanswered question or somehow change the course of care, it may be considered. However, any patient with a picture complicated by issues such as previous pelvic or anti-incontinence surgery, radiation therapy, neurologic disease, or difficult or unclear diagnosis should be considered for urodynamics.
  13. c. Be active during coughing.EMG should be used in selected patients. Recruitment should occur with BCR in all men and 70% of women and in the face of increased intra-abdominal pressure, such as with coughing. It should be silent during voiding to allow passage of urine without outlet resistance.

Chapter review

  1. Pelvic organ prolapse is categorized according to the affected compartment: anterior (cystocele), posterior (rectocele), and apical (descent of the uterus or bowel-enterocele).
  2. Hypermobility is defined as a Q tip angle of greater than 30 degrees from horizontal on abdominal straining.
  3. In the pelvic organ prolapse quantification system, positions cephalad to the hymen are considered negative. Positions caudad to the hymen are considered positive.
  4. Pad use per day is an unreliable indicator of the quantity of incontinence.
  5. A postvoid residual of less than 50 mL represents adequate emptying. Ninety percent of normal individuals will have a PVR less than 100. A PVR greater than 200 represents inadequate emptying.
  6. Stress urinary incontinence may be unmasked by the reduction of prolapse.
  7. Apical prolapse is treated with uterosacral ligament suspension or a sacrospinous ligament fixation.
  8. Connective tissue support for the pelvis is divided into three levels: level I, the uterosacral and cardinal ligaments support the vaginal vault; level II, the anterior and posterior endopelvic fascia to the lateral side wall support the mid-vagina; and level III, the fusion of the endopelvic fascia to the pubic symphysis and perineal body supports the distal vagina.
  9. Obesity, advanced age, female gender, smoking, and associated pelvic floor disorders are risk factors for the development of urinary incontinence.
  10. A Burch colpopsusension performed at the time of sacrocolpopexy for prolapse in women who do not have preoperative SUI reduces postoperative SUI.
  11. Any patient with a picture complicated by issues—such as previous pelvic or antiincontinence surgery, radiation therapy, neurologic disease, or difficult or unclear diagnosis—should be considered for urodynamics.

* Sources referenced can be found in Campbell-Walsh Urology, 11th Edition, on the Expert Consult website.