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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2009 May;144 Suppl 1:S159-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2009.02.021. Epub 2009 Mar 20.

Dynamics of female pelvic floor function using urodynamics, ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

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  • 1Department of Urology, Stanford University Medical School, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


In this review the diagnostic potential of evaluating female pelvic floor muscle (PFM) function using magnetic and ultrasound imaging in the context of urodynamic observations is considered in terms of determining the mechanisms of urinary continence. A new approach is used to consider the dynamics of PFM activity by introducing new parameters derived from imaging. Novel image-processing techniques are applied to illustrate the static anatomy and dynamics of PFM function of stress incontinent women pre- and post-operatively as compared to asymptomatic subjects. Function was evaluated from the dynamics of organ displacement produced during voluntary and reflex activation. Technical innovations include the use of ultrasound analysis for movement of structures during maneuvers that are associated with external stimuli. Enabling this approach is the development of criteria and fresh and unique parameters that define the kinematics of PFM function. Principal among these parameters, are displacement, velocity, acceleration and the trajectory of pelvic floor landmarks. To accomplish this objective, movement detection, including motion tracking algorithms and segmentation algorithms were developed to derive new parameters of trajectory, displacement, velocity and acceleration, and strain of pelvic structures during different maneuvers. Results highlight the importance of timing the movement and deformation to fast and stressful maneuvers, which are important for understanding the neuromuscular control and function of PFM. Furthermore, observations suggest that timing of responses is a significant factor separating the continent from the incontinent subjects.

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