, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 50-53

Intraurethral ultrasound: diagnostic evaluation of the striated urethral sphincter in incontinent females

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The aim of our study was to evaluate the striated urethral sphincter (rhabdosphincter) in incontinent females by means of intraurethral ultrasound (IUUS). Thirty-four incontinent and 11 continent female patients were examined by means of 12.5-MHz endoluminal ultrasound (US). The distance between the inner contour of the sphincter muscle and the US catheter was measured in the contracted and the non-contracted condition. The US findings were correlated with those obtained by urodynamic studies. Partial or complete loss of sphincter function was detected in patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). Reduced sphincter function was not observed in patients with urge incontinence and continent volunteers. The findings on US were found to correlate well with the grade of SUI. The IUUS technique offers the benefit of direct visualization of the sphincter mechanism. Therefore, endoluminal US may become an important adjunct in the diagnostic evaluation of SUI and will possibly provide new insights for a better therapeutic strategy.

Received 20 January 1997; Revision received 22 April 1997; Accepted 3 June 1997