Pelvic-floor imaging using three-dimensional ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging in the long term follow-up of the bladder-exstrophy-epispadias complex

BJU Int. 2010 Jan;105(2):248-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2009.08736.x. Epub 2009 Jul 6.


Objective: To investigate whether established pelvic floor variables can be used to predict the risk of uterine prolapse after surgery and to compare two different operative strategies, pelvic adaptation with functional reconstruction and an open pelvis with urinary diversion, as a congenital bony pelvis and pelvic floor defect predisposes females with bladder-exstrophy-epispadias complex (BEEC) to uterine prolapse.

Patients, subjects and methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using perineal three-dimensional ultrasonography (3D-US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to describe pelvic floor anatomy in 19 women with BEEC (mean age 27.3 years) and five controls, with the outcome evaluated by a semi-structured interview. The analysis of 3D-US and MRI was conducted by two independent investigators.

Results: Of the 19 women with BEEC, 13 initially had a functional bladder reconstruction, six a urinary diversion with removal of the exstrophic bladder, and 12 women had closure of the pelvis either by traction bandage or osteotomy, and in the other seven the symphysis was not approximated. Four patients had a complete and one a mild uterine prolapse. After a mean follow-up of 24 years, the mean symphyseal diastasis was 4.5 cm after symphyseal approximation, 9.0 cm without symphyseal approximation in BEEC and 0.49 cm in controls. The mean levator hiatus was 4.9 cm on 3D-US and 4.1 cm on MRI after symphyseal approximation, 5.9 and 7.6 cm without symphyseal approximation and 4.2 and 3.2 cm in controls, respectively. The respective mean levator angle was 86.6 degrees and 87.3 degrees after symphyseal approximation, 104.1 degrees and 101.3 degrees without and 71.3 degrees and 45.5 in controls. Prolapse was statistically significantly more common in patients with no symphyseal approximation.

Conclusion: This is the first study showing that perineal 3D-US is useful for pelvic floor imaging in BEEC. Established pelvic floor variables might be useful for predicting the risk of pelvic organ prolapse in BEEC.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bladder Exstrophy / diagnostic imaging
  • Bladder Exstrophy / pathology*
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Epispadias / diagnostic imaging
  • Epispadias / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Floor / diagnostic imaging
  • Pelvic Floor / pathology*
  • Ultrasonography
  • Uterine Prolapse / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult