Application of a new method in the study of pelvic floor muscle passive properties in continent women
Series/Report no.Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology;Vol. 20, no 5
The aim of this study was to present a new methodology for evaluating the pelvic floor muscle (PFM) passive properties. The properties were assessed in 13 continent women using an intra-vaginal dynamometric speculum and EMG (to ensure the subjects were relaxed) in four different conditions: (1) forces recorded at minimal aperture (initial passive resistance); (2) passive resistance at maximal aperture; (3) forces and passive elastic stiffness (PES) evaluated during five lengthening and shortening cycles; and (4) percentage loss of resistance after 1 min of sustained stretch. The PFMs and surrounding tissues were stretched, at constant speed, by increasing the vaginal antero-posterior diameter; different apertures were considered. Hysteresis was also calculated. The procedure was deemed acceptable by all participants. The median passive forces recorded ranged from 0.54 N (interquartile range 1.52) for minimal aperture to 8.45 N (interquartile range 7.10) for maximal aperture while the corresponding median PES values were 0.17 N/mm (interquartile range 0.28) and 0.67 N/mm (interquartile range 0.60). Median hysteresis was 17.24 N∗mm (interquartile range 35.60) and the median percentage of force losses was 11.17% (interquartile range 13.33). This original approach to evaluating the PFM passive properties is very promising for providing better insight into the patho-physiology of stress urinary incontinence and pinpointing conservative treatment mechanisms.
Morin M, Gravel D, Bourbonnais D, Dumoulin C, Ouellet S, Pilon JF. (2010) Application of a new method in the study of pelvic floor muscle passive properties in continent women. Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology; 20(5): 795-803.