Two parallel, pragmatic, UK multicentre, randomised controlled trials comparing surgical options for upper compartment (vault or uterine) pelvic organ prolapse (the VUE Study): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Cathryn Glazener, Lynda Constable, Christine Hemming, Suzanne Breeman, Andrew Elders, Kevin Cooper, Robert Freeman, Anthony R. B. Smith, Suzanne Hagen, Alison McDonald, Gladys McPherson, Isobel Montgomery, Mary Kilonzo, Dwayne Boyers, Beatriz Goulao, John Norrie

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One in three women who have a prolapse operation will go on to have another operation, though not necessarily in the same compartment. Surgery can result in greater impairment of quality of life than the original prolapse itself (such as the development of new-onset urinary incontinence, or prolapse at a different site). Anterior and posterior prolapse surgery is most common (90 % of operations), but around 43 % of women also have a uterine (34 %) or vault (9 %) procedure at the same time. There is not enough evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to guide management of vault or uterine prolapse. The Vault or Uterine prolapse surgery Evaluation (VUE) study aims to assess the surgical management of upper compartment pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in terms of clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and adverse events.

VUE is two parallel, pragmatic, UK multicentre, RCTs (Uterine Trial and Vault Trial). Eligible for inclusion are women with vault or uterine prolapse: requiring a surgical procedure, suitable for randomisation and willing to be randomised. Randomisation will be computer-allocated separately for each trial, minimised on: requiring concomitant anterior and/or posterior POP surgery or not, concomitant incontinence surgery or not, age (under 60 years or 60 years and older) and surgeon. Participants will be randomly assigned, with equal probability to intervention or control arms in either the Uterine Trial or the Vault Trial. Uterine Trial participants will receive either a vaginal hysterectomy or a uterine preservation procedure. Vault Trial participants will receive either a vaginal sacrospinous fixation or an abdominal sacrocolpopexy. Participants will be followed up by postal questionnaires (6 months post surgery and 12 months post randomisation) and also reviewed in clinic 12 months post surgery. The primary outcome is the participant-reported Pelvic Organ Prolapse Symptom Score (POP-SS) at 12 months post randomisation.

Demonstrating the efficacy of vault and uterine prolapse surgeries is relevant not only to patients and clinicians but also to health care providers, both in the UK and globally.
Original languageEnglish
Article number441
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2016



  • uterine
  • vault
  • prolapse
  • hysterectomy
  • suspension
  • symptoms
  • randomised controlled trial

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