Introduction and hypothesis: The aim was to compare pelvic floor muscle (PFM) elasticity between interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS) patients and healthy women using real-time tissue elastography.
Methods: The subjects were 17 IC/BPS female patients (IC/BPS group; age 34-84 years), 10 healthy middle-aged women (middle-aged group; 50-80 years), and 17 healthy young adult women (young group; 23-37 years). The target sites of elastography were the striated urethral sphincter (SUS) and adipose tissue as the reference site; muscle elasticity was calculated as the strain ratio (SR) of the SUS to the reference site. Evaluations were performed at rest and during PFM contraction. The IC/BPS group completed lower urinary tract symptom and pain questionnaires. SUS SR was compared among the three groups. SUS SR at rest and during PFM contraction was compared among the three groups with the t-test and the Wilcoxon test. Associations between questionnaire results and SUS SR were evaluated by correlation analysis.
Results: There was no significant difference in age between the IC/BPS and middle-aged groups, but the young group was significantly younger than the other groups (p < 0.001). SUS SR at rest was significantly higher in the IC/BPS group than in the middle-aged (p = 0.014) and young groups (p = 0.002). Furthermore, in the IC/BPS group, there was no significant difference in SUS SR between at rest and during PFM contraction. SUS SR was not significantly correlated with questionnaire results for lower urinary tract symptoms.
Conclusions: SUS SR at rest was significantly higher in the IC/BPS group than in the young and middle-aged groups.
Keywords: Elasticity; Pelvic floor muscles; Real-time tissue elastography; Strain ratio interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome.
© 2021. The International Urogynecological Association.