Send to

Choose Destination
Int Urogynecol J. 2012 Aug;23(8):1035-40. doi: 10.1007/s00192-012-1705-3. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Levator function and voluntary augmentation of maximum urethral closure pressure.

Author information

Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sydney Medical School Nepean, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, NSW 2750, Australia.



The aim of the study was to test whether women with symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction can augment maximum urethral closure pressure (MUCP) with a pelvic floor muscle contraction (PFMC) and whether augmentation is associated with structure and function of the levator ani muscle.


Between January and December 2009, 300 women attended a tertiary referral service for multichannel urodynamic testing and 4D pelvic floor ultrasound. The MUCP was obtained with a perfused fluid-filled catheter. Augmented MUCPs were obtained during directed PFMC. Levator contraction strength was assessed digitally, using the Modified Oxford Grading (MOS). Levator integrity was determined using tomographic ultrasound, and we also measured dimensions of the levator hiatus at rest and on PFMC, blinded against all clinical data.


The MUCP was measured at a mean of 36 cm H(2)O (range 2-111). Augmented MUCP was 42 cm H(2)O on average (4-125). Of those who attempted augmentation (n = 275), 80 produced a reduction in MUCP and were excluded, leaving 195. There was a significant correlation between MOS and augmentation (r = 0.24, P = 0.001). Women with an intact levator muscle were able to augment more effectively (P = 0.038).


Urethral closure pressure can be augmented voluntarily by symptomatic patients, on average by about 20 %. The degree of augmentation is positively associated with levator contractility as measured by digital palpation and negatively with levator avulsion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center