Relationship of Anatomy and Function: External Anal Sphincter on Transperineal Ultrasound and Anal Incontinence

Chandhana Paka, Ixora Kamisan Atan, Rebeca Rios, Hans Peter DIetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the association of the anatomic integrity of the external anal sphincter (EAS) detected on transperineal ultrasound (TPUS) with symptoms of anal incontinence (AI) as measured by St Mark's Incontinence Score (SMIS) and the visual analog scale (VAS). Methods This is an observational, cross-sectional analysis of 486 women who presented to a tertiary urogynecological center between May 2013 and August 2014. They underwent a standardized interview and an examination that involved 3-dimensional/4-dimensional TPUS. The SMIS and VAS were administered if they answered positively to a question on AI. The association between defects of the EAS and symptoms of AI was evaluated using bivariate tests, as well as adjusting for pertinent covariates using multiple linear regression modeling. Results Of the included patients, 17.1% reported AI, and 15.2% had significant EAS defects (≥4 slices) on TPUS imaging. A significant sonographic defect was diagnosed in 23% of women with AI versus 14% of those without (P = 0.033). Women with symptoms of AI were more likely to have a significant defect on TPUS (odds ratio, 1.878; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-3.37). No significant findings were seen when analyzing SMIS, its components, and VAS against sonographic EAS defects. Conclusions The symptom of AI is associated with significant EAS defects detected on TPUS. However, this study failed to show an association between significant EAS defects and the SMIS and VAS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalFemale Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • OASIs
  • St Mark's incontinence score
  • anal incontinence
  • obstetric anal sphincter injuries
  • transperineal ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Surgery


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