Changes in muscularis propria of anterior vaginal wall in women with pelvic organ prolapse

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A. Vetuschi
A. D'Alfonso
R. Sferra *
D. Zanelli
S. Pompili
F. Patacchiola
E. Gaudio
G. Carta
(*) Corresponding Author:
R. Sferra |


The objective of this study was to evaluate the morphological and immunohistochemical alterations of tissue removed from the upper third of anterior vaginal wall in a sample group of the female population presenting homogenous risk factors associated with Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP). The case study consisted of 14 patients with POP and there were 10 patients in the control group. Patient selection was carried on the basis of specific criteria and all of the patients involved in the study presented one or more of the recognized POP risk factors. Samples were taken from POP patients during vaginal plastic surgery following  colpohysterectomy, and from control patients during closure of the posterior fornix following hysterectomy. Samples were processed for histological and  immunohistochemical analyses for Collagen I and Collagen III, α-Smooth Muscle Actin (α-SMA), Platelet-Derived-Growth-Factor (PDGF), matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP3), Caspase3. Immunofluorescence analyses for Collagen I and III and PDGF were also carried out. In prolapsed specimens our results show a disorganization of smooth muscle cells that appeared to have been displaced by an increased collagen III deposition resulting in rearrangement of the muscularis propria architecture. These findings suggest that the increase in the expression of collagen fibers in muscularis could probably due to a phenotypic switch resulting in the dedifferentiation of smooth muscle cells into myofibroblasts. These alterations could be responsible for the compromising of the dynamic functionality of the pelvic floor.


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