Feasibility of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with fibre tractography of the normal female pelvic floor
To prospectively determine the feasibility of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with fibre tractography as a tool for the three-dimensional (3D) visualisation of normal pelvic floor anatomy.
Five young female nulliparous subjects (mean age 28 ± 3 years) underwent DTI at 3.0T. Two-dimensional diffusion-weighted axial spin-echo echo-planar (SP-EPI) pulse sequence of the pelvic floor was performed, with additional T2-TSE multiplanar sequences for anatomical reference. Fibre tractography for visualisation of predefined pelvic floor and pelvic wall muscles was performed offline by two observers, applying a consensus method. Three eigenvalues (λ1, λ2, λ3), fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) were calculated from the fibre trajectories.
In all subjects fibre tractography resulted in a satisfactory anatomical representation of the pubovisceral muscle, perineal body, anal - and urethral sphincter complex and internal obturator muscle. Mean FA values ranged from 0.23 ± 0.02 to 0.30 ± 0.04, MD values from 1.30 ± 0.08 to 1.73 ± 0.12 × 10−³ mm²/s. Muscular structures in the superficial layer of the pelvic floor could not be satisfactorily identified.
This study demonstrates the feasibility of visualising the complex three-dimensional pelvic floor architecture using 3T-DTI with fibre tractography. DTI of the deep female pelvic floor may provide new insights into pelvic floor disorders.
- Feasibility of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) with fibre tractography of the normal female pelvic floor
- Open Access
- Available under Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Volume 21, Issue 6 , pp 1243-1249
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
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- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI)
- Pelvic floor
- Fibre tractography
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Radiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- 2. Department of Radiology, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- 3. Biomedical NMR, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
- 4. Department of Gynaecology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands