Quantifying vaginal tissue elasticity under normal and prolapse conditions by tactile imaging

Int Urogynecol J. 2012 Apr;23(4):459-66. doi: 10.1007/s00192-011-1592-z. Epub 2011 Nov 10.


Introduction and hypothesis: Vaginal tactile imaging (VTI) is based on principles similar to those of manual palpation. The objective of this study is to assess the clinical suitability of new approach for imaging and tissue elasticity quantification under normal and prolapse conditions.

Methods: The study subjects included 31 women with normal and prolapse conditions. The tissue elasticity (Young's modulus) was calculated from spatial gradients in the resulting 3-D tactile images.

Results: Average values for tissue elasticity for the anterior and posterior compartments for normal conditions were 7.4 ± 4.3 kPa and 6.2 ± 3.1 kPa respectively. For Stage III prolapse the average values for tissue elasticity for anterior and posterior compartments were 1.8 ± 0.7 kPa and 1.8 ± 0.5 kPa respectively.

Conclusions: VTI may serve as a means for 3-D imaging of the vagina and a quantitative assessment of vaginal tissue elasticity, providing important information for furthering our understanding of pelvic organ prolapse and surgical treatment.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Elastic Modulus
  • Elasticity / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / diagnosis*
  • Pelvic Organ Prolapse / physiopathology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Touch Perception*
  • Vagina / physiopathology*