Pelvic floor laxity: A not so rare but unrecognized form of daytime urinary incontinence in peripubertal and adolescent girls

Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is common among older multiparous females but rarely reported in active, young girls.

Our hypothesis is: physically active adolescent females develop pelvic floor laxity demonstrable on upright VCUG. Our objectives are to (1) increase awareness of SUI in young females, (2) test our hypothesis with an upright VCUG, and (3) report effectiveness of step-wise management.

A retrospective review was performed of nulliparous girls with only SUI seen from 2000 to 2015, who were evaluated with upright voiding cystourethrography (VCUG) (bladder descent defined as ≥2 cm drop of bladder neck below pubic ramus at capacity). Data collection included level of physical activity, physical examination, BMI and Z-scores, urodynamics, management, and treatment response. Standard urotherapy (SUT) (timed voiding, proper diet, adequate fluids, bowel management) and biofeedback therapy (BFT) was initiated. Fisher exact test was used to calculate 'p' values.

Thirty-three females (median age 15.1 years, range 5.5-20.3) were identified who underwent an upright VCUG; 20 had bladder neck descent (Fig.). Of these 20, 15 (75%) were involved in strenuous activity, whereas only three of 13 (23%) without descent engaged in intense athletics. No differences were noted in median BMI and Z-score with strenuous activity (21.1 (15.2-26.7) and 0.31 (-0.9-1.94)), respectively, versus patients without (21.3 (15.8-33.5) and 0.62 (-0.0-2.38)). Average follow-up for all was 16.6 months (range 0.4-102.2). Of 20 demonstrating bladder neck descent, three did not complete therapy and were lost to follow-up. Only six of these 17 became dry. Of the remaining 11, eight underwent surgery: Burch colposuspension (5), fascial sling (2), Coaptite to the bladder neck (1), and an artificial urinary sphincter (1). This latter girl had a failed Burch colposuspension 1 year previously. All surgical patients are dry. Of 13 without bladder descent on VCUG, five did not complete therapy and were lost to follow-up. The remaining eight were managed non-surgically; seven were fully dry at last follow-up. Overall, 13 of 25 (52%) achieved dryness. SUT and BFT were more effective in those without, than in those with bladder descent (87.5% vs. 35.3%, p = 0.0302, Fisher exact test).

Physically active, nulligravid girls with SUI can be efficaciously diagnosed on upright VCUG. They should be considered for non-surgical therapy but will likely require bladder neck elevating surgery. Non-surgical therapy works for those with minimal bladder descent on cystography.

Journal of pediatric urology. 2018 Jun 07 [Epub ahead of print]

Stuart B Bauer, Evalynn Vasquez, Marc Cendron, May M Wakamatsu, Jeanne S Chow

Department of Urology Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, USA. Electronic address: ., Department of Urology Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, USA., Department of Urogynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA., Department of Radiology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, USA.