Bladder wall micromotion measured by non-invasive ultrasound: initial results in women with and without overactive bladder.

Rhythmic contractions of the bladder wall during filling result from the synchronization of bladder wall micromotion and are often observed in the urodynamic tracings of individuals with urinary overactive bladder (OAB). This study's objective was to develop a novel, non-invasive method to measure bladder wall micromotion and to conduct an initial study to test the hypothesis that elevated micromotion is associated with OAB.

This prospective study enrolled women with OAB and asymptomatic volunteers as measured by the ICIQ-OAB survey. After filling the bladder to 40% cystometric capacity, 85 second cine-loops were obtained using a GE Voluson E8 ultrasound system with an 8 MHz curved, abdominal probe. A custom correlation-based texture tracking MATLAB algorithm was used to measure changes in the bladder wall thickness over time and correlate with changes in vesical pressure. Significant bladder wall micromotion was defined as changes in wall thickness with amplitudes higher than 0.1 mm in the frequency range of 1.75-6 cycles/minute as calculated from Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis. The micromotion algorithm was tested on 30 women including 17 with OAB and 13 asymptomatic volunteers.

Micromotion was identified in 41% of subjects with OAB and 0% of asymptomatic volunteers, indicating a significant association of micromotion with OAB (Fisher's exact test, P=0.010). Micromotion was also found to have a significant association with a clinical diagnosis of detrusor overactivity (Fisher's exact test, P=0.031). Frequencies with elevated micromotion correlated with frequencies of vesical pressure fluctuations.

The feasibility of a non-invasive method to measure bladder wall micromotion was demonstrated using transabdominal anatomical motion mode (M-mode) ultrasound. Presence of micromotion was significantly associated with OAB and with urodynamic-identified rhythm.

American journal of clinical and experimental urology. 2021 Feb 15*** epublish ***

Anna S Nagle, Zachary E Cullingsworth, Rui Li, Laura R Carucci, Adam P Klausner, John E Speich

Department of Mechanical & Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University College of Engineering Richmond, VA, USA., Department of Radiology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Richmond, VA, USA., Department of Surgery/Division of Urology, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine Richmond, VA, USA.

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