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Neurourol Urodyn. 2004;23(4):288-301.

Basic science and translational research in female pelvic floor disorders: proceedings of an NIH-sponsored meeting.

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  • 1Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch, Center for Population Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15238, USA.



To report the findings of a multidisciplinary group of scientists focusing on issues in basic science and translational research related to female pelvic floor disorders, and to produce recommendations for a research agenda for investigators studying female pelvic floor disorders.


A National Institutes of Health (NIH)-sponsored meeting was held on November 14-15, 2002, bringing together scientists in diverse fields including obstetrics, gynecology, urogynecology, urology, gastroenterology, biomechanical engineering, neuroscience, endocrinology, and molecular biology. Recent and ongoing studies were presented and discussed, key gaps in knowledge were identified, and recommendations were made for research that would have the highest impact in making advances in the field of female pelvic floor disorders.


The meeting included presentations and discussion on the use of animal models to better understand physiology and pathophysiology; neuromuscular injury (such as at childbirth) as a possible pathogenetic factor and mechanisms for recovery of function after injury; the use of biomechanical concepts and imaging to better understand the relationship between structure and function; and molecular and biochemical mechanisms that may underlie the development of female pelvic floor disorders.


While the findings of current research will help elucidate the pathophysiologic pathways leading to the development of female pelvic floor disorders, much more research is needed for full understanding that will result in better care for patients through specific rather than empiric therapy, and lead to the potential for prevention on primary and secondary levels.

Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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