Quantifying vaginal tissue elasticity under normal and prolapse conditions by tactile imaging
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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.
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.
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.
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.
KeywordsBiomechanical properties Elasticity Prolapse Vaginal tissue Tactile imaging
One-way analysis of variance
Pelvic organ prolapse
Pelvic organ prolapse quantification system
Magnetic resonance imaging
Vaginal tactile imager
The authors would like to thank Noune Sarvazyan, PhD, and Armen Sarvazyan, PhD, DSc, for editing assistant and support of this research; Randee Weed, MS, RDMS, for clinical research documentation and data management; Robin Haff, RN, BSN, for study coordination; and Milind Patel for technical assistance with the device. The work was supported by the National Institute on Aging, USA, grant AG034714.
Conflicts of interest
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