High-density surface electromyographic assessment of pelvic floor hypertonicity in IC/BPS patients: a pilot study.

To assess the feasibility of objectively assessing pelvic floor hypertonicity (PFH) in women with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) using an intra-vaginal high-density surface electromyography (HD-sEMG) probe.

Seven female subjects (mean age 44 ± 13 years) with a prior diagnosis of IC/BPS were recruited. A full digital pelvic examination was administered to identify hypertonic muscles. Intra-vaginal HD-sEMG was acquired during rest. Root-mean-squared (RMS) amplitude during rest was calculated for each channel to define a hypertonicity index and hypertonic zone. Innervation zones (IZs) were identified from the bipolar mapping of decomposed HD-sEMG signals and summarized into an IZ distribution mapping.

Of the seven subjects recruited, five had normal pelvic floor muscle tone and two exhibited hypertonicity upon muscle palpation. Subjects with PFH demonstrated a higher hypertonicity index (12.6 ± 3.5 vs. 4.5 ± 1.2) in sessions 1 and 2. The hypertonic zone defined by the 64-channel RMS mapping coincided with the digital pelvic examination findings. The corresponding IZs were localized for each motor unit. The hypertonicity indices between two consecutive sessions were well correlated (CC = 0.95).

This study represents the first effort to employ intra-vaginal HD-sEMG to assess PFH in women with IC/BPS. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of HD-sEMG to provide a quantitative diagnosis of PFH and the precise localization of hypertonic muscles and IZs. The proposed HD-sEMG-based techniques provide promising tools for clinical diagnosis and treatment of PFH, such as the personalized guidance of BoNT injections.

International urogynecology journal. 2020 Aug 06 [Epub ahead of print]

Nicholas Dias, Chuan Zhang, Christopher P Smith, H Henry Lai, Yingchun Zhang

Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 77204, USA., Department of Urology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA., Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA., Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX, 77204, USA. .