Sydney Medical School Nepean, Nepean Hospital, Penrith, NSW 2750, Australia.
Female pelvic floor dysfunction encompasses a range of morbidities, including urinary incontinence, female pelvic organ prolapse, anal incontinence and obstructed defecation. Patients often present with symptoms covered by several specialties including gastroenterology, colorectal surgery, urology and gynecology. Imaging can therefore bring clinicians from multiple specialties together by revealing that we frequently deal with different aspects of one underlying problem or pathophysiological process. This article provides an interdisciplinary imaging perspective on the pelvic floor. Modern pelvic floor imaging comprises defecation proctography, translabial and endorectal ultrasound, and static and dynamic MRI. This Perspectives focuses on the potential use of translabial ultrasound, including 3D and 4D applications, for diagnosis of pelvic floor disorders. Over the next decade, pelvic floor imaging will most likely be integrated into mainstream diagnostics in obstetrics and gynecology and colorectal surgery. Using imaging to facilitate communication between different specialties has the potential to greatly improve the multidisciplinary management of complex pelvic floor disorders.
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Reference: Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011 Dec 20. Epub ahead of print.