Transperineal ultrasonography has been used as a diagnostic imaging modality for rectocele for many years. However, the consistency of ultrasonography and defecography in evaluating the severity of rectocele was not satisfactory. This study aimed to evaluate the agreement in the measurement of rectocele parameters between the two methods in different positions and provide clinical implications for the diagnosis of rectocele.


In this pilot study, participants were recruited in an outpatient clinic of a tertiary hospital between December 2017 and December 2019. All participants separately underwent defecation proctography at sitting and squatting positions, and undertook transperineal ultrasonography at left lateral, sitting, and squatting positions. The consistency of ultrasonography and defecography was evaluated.


Thirty female volunteers with rectocele were included in this study. The degree of anorectal angle was significantly larger at rest and during contraction, maximal Valsalva, and evacuation; the depth of the rectocele was significantly deeper during maximal Valsalva and evacuation; and the length of the perineum descending was significantly longer during contraction and maximal Valsalva in using squatting position compared to the sitting position when performing the defecation proctography. The degree of anorectal angle, the depth of rectocele, the area of levator hiatus, and the volume of the rectocele were significantly different in using squatting, sitting, and left lateral positions when performing the transperineal ultrasonography. Bland-Altman semi-quantitative plots showed good consistency in the measurement of the anorectal angle and the depth of the rectocele between proctography and ultrasonography in both sitting and squatting positions.


The findings of our study may be considered as the preliminary evidence to support the use of transperineal ultrasonography with sitting and squatting positions as the imaging test of choice for evaluating patients with rectocele.

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