Variation of distances from mid-urethra to the obturator foramen: an MRI study

Int Urogynecol J. 2012 Aug;23(8):1075-80. doi: 10.1007/s00192-012-1735-x. Epub 2012 Apr 28.


Introduction and hypothesis: To estimate distances from the mid-urethra to the obturator foramina and to explore correlations between pelvic dimensions and body height.

Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a parent case-control study on the mechanisms of stress urinary incontinence. We measured pelvic dimensions on magnetic resonance images of women with (cases, n = 50) and without (controls, n = 50) stress urinary incontinence.

Results: The mean distance from mid-urethra to the obturator membrane among cases is 31.8 mm (left) and 32.1 mm (right), with a range from 25.9 to 42.0 mm. There were no significant differences in these distances when comparing left with right, or cases with controls. Weak correlation was found between the urethra-to-obturator foramina distances and heights only in the case subjects.

Conclusion: There is high variability in the distance from mid-urethra to the obturator foramina. Height should not be used as a predictor of dimensions in the lesser pelvis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Hip / anatomy & histology
  • Hip / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pelvic Bones / anatomy & histology*
  • Pelvic Bones / pathology*
  • Pelvic Floor / anatomy & histology
  • Pelvic Floor / pathology
  • Suburethral Slings
  • Urethra / anatomy & histology*
  • Urethra / pathology*
  • Urinary Incontinence, Stress / pathology*