Abstract

Synergistic co-activation of the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles (PFM) has been reported in the literature. Considering that PFM dysfunction is present in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI), altered abdominal muscle activation may also occur in incontinent women.


Abstract

AIMS:

To investigate the changes in the thickness of the abdominal muscles; measured by ultrasound, in response to pelvic floor muscle (PFM) contraction in women with and without stress urinary incontinence (SUI).


INTRODUCTION AND HYPOTHESIS:

Transabdominal (TA) ultrasound and perineometry have been currently used to assess lifting aspect and squeezing action of pelvic floor muscles (PFM) function, respectively, in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). However, no study has directly compared these measurements. The purpose of this study was to investigate the reliability and correlation between perineometry and TA ultrasound as measurements of different aspect of PFM function.


Abstract

Pelvic floor muscle (PFM) dysfunction has been commonly associated with urinary disorders and lumbo-pelvic pain. Transabdominal (TA) ultrasound is currently used by physical therapists to assess PFM function. Controversy exists regarding the correlation between TA ultrasound measurement and vaginal palpation for assessment of PFM contraction, and this relationship has not yet been examined concurrently during the same contraction.


M Chehrehrazi, AM Arab, N Karimi, M Zargham

Abstract

Introduction and hypothesis

Transabdominal (TA) ultrasound and perineometry have been currently used to assess lifting aspect and squeezing action of pelvic floor muscles (PFM) function, respectively, in women with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). However, no study has directly compared these measurements. The purpose of this study was to investigate the reliability and correlation between perineometry and TA ultrasound as measurements of different aspect of PFM function.

Methods

A total of 28 women with SUI participated in the study. Vaginal squeeze pressure using a perineometer and bladder base movement on TA ultrasound was measured. Scattergram was depicted to determine the correlation between variables. Intraclass correlation coefficient and Bland–Altman plot were used to assess reliability.

Results

Scatter diagram depicted significant correlation of TA ultrasound with vaginal squeeze pressure (r = ۰٫۷۲, R2 = ۰٫۵۲, p < ۰٫۰۰۰۱). High reliability was found for measurements.

Conclusion

TA ultrasound measurement may be an alternative measurement to perineometry when assessing PFM function.

Keywords

Pelvic floor muscles, Perineometry, Transabdominal ultrasound, Stress urinary incontinence, Vaginal squeeze pressure, Reliability