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Urology. 2003 Jun;61(6):1135-9.

Value of express T2-weighted pelvic MRI in the preoperative evaluation of severe pelvic floor prolapse: a prospective study.

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Department of Urology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.



To report our prospective experience with extended-phase conjugate-symmetry rapid spin-echo sequence (EXPRESS) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the female pelvis in the preoperative staging of severe pelvic floor prolapse (PFP). Severe PFP represents a significant diagnostic and reconstructive challenge for clinicians. Although the clinical utility of dynamic MRI has already been demonstrated, EXPRESS MRI has not been prospectively studied in the evaluation of PFP.


Between January 1999 and December 2001, 31 consecutive female patients with severe PFP were referred to our institution. Twenty of them underwent EXPRESS dynamic pelvic MRI. The physical examination, MRI, and intraoperative findings were statistically correlated.


The mean age of the 20 patients undergoing preoperative EXPRESS MRI was 67 years. The mean duration of prolapse was 6.1 years. All 20 patients underwent surgery for symptomatic PFP with or without associated voiding dysfunction. No postoperative complications or recurrent PFP had occurred at a median follow-up of 19 months. Significant correlations were found between the preoperative pelvic examination findings and operative findings of cystourethrocele and vaginal cuff prolapse, and significant correlations were found between MRI findings and operative findings of enterocele, cystourethrocele, vaginal cuff prolapse, and uterine prolapse.


EXPRESS MRI can accurately stage PFP. The technique is rapid, precise, and noninvasive. Practitioners should consider obtaining dynamic, rapid-sequence sagittal pelvic MRI scans in cases of severe PFP when the diagnosis is not clear before surgery. More accurate preoperative information may ultimately result in improved long-term surgical outcomes and guide the refinement of surgical techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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