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Elastin density: Link between histological and biomechanical properties of vaginal tissue in women with pelvic organ prolapse?

Abstract : Introduction and hypothesis The aim of the study was to correlate histological and biomechanical characteristics of the vaginal wall in women with pelvic organ prolapse (POP). Methods Tissue samples were collected from the anterior [point Ba; POP Questionnaire (POP-Q)] and/or posterior (point Bp; POP-Q) vaginal wall of 15 women who underwent vaginal surgery for POP. Both histological and biomechanical assessments were performed from the same tissue samples in 14 of 15 patients. For histological assessment, the density of collagen and elastin fibers was determined by combining high-resolution virtual imaging and computer-assisted digital image analysis. For biomechanical testing, uniaxial tension tests were performed to evaluate vaginal tissue stiffness at low (C0) and high (C1) deformation rates. Results Biomechanical testing highlights the hyperelastic behavior of the vaginal wall. At low strains (C0), vaginal tissue appeared stiffer when elastin density was low. We found a statistically significant inverse relationship between C0 and the elastin/collagen ratio (p = 0.048) in the lamina propria. However, at large strain levels (C1), no clear relationship was observed between elastin density or elastin/collagen ratio and stiffness, likely reflecting the large dispersion of the mechanical behavior of the tissue samples. Conclusion Histological and biomechanical properties of the vaginal wall vary from patient to patient. This study suggests that elastin density deserves consideration as a relevant factor of vaginal stiffness in women with POP.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01318865
Contributor : Marie-Christine Nodot <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 20, 2016 - 10:02:41 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 14, 2019 - 1:48:03 PM

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Laurent de Landsheere, Mathias Brieu, Silvia Blacher, Carine Munaut, Betty Nusgens, et al.. Elastin density: Link between histological and biomechanical properties of vaginal tissue in women with pelvic organ prolapse?. International Urogynecology Journal, Springer Verlag, 2016, 27 (4), pp.629-635. ⟨10.1007/s00192-015-2901-8⟩. ⟨hal-01318865⟩

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