Tactile Imaging Markers to Characterize Female Pelvic Floor Conditions


The Vaginal Tactile Imager (VTI) records pressure patterns from vaginal walls under an applied tissue deformation and during pelvic floor muscle contractions. The objective of this study is to validate tactile imaging and muscle contraction parameters (markers) sensitive to the female pelvic floor conditions. Twenty-two women with normal and prolapse conditions were examined by a vaginal tactile imaging probe. We identified 9 parameters which were sensitive to prolapse conditions (p < 0.05 for one-way ANOVA and/or p < 0.05 for t-test with correlation factor r from -0.73 to -0.56). The list of parameters includes pressure, pressure gradient and dynamic pressure response during muscle contraction at identified locations. These parameters may be used for biomechanical characterization of female pelvic floor conditions to support an effective management of pelvic floor prolapse.

Share and Cite:

Raalte, H. and Egorov, V. (2015) Tactile Imaging Markers to Characterize Female Pelvic Floor Conditions. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 5, 505-515. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2015.59073.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Egorov, V., van Raalte, H. and Sarvazyan, A. (2010) Vaginal Tactile Imaging. Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 57, 1736-1744.
[2] Egorov, V., van Raalte, H. and Lucente, V. (2012) Quantifying Vaginal Tissue Elasticity under Normal and Prolapse Conditions by Tactile Imaging. International Urogynecology Journal, 23, 459-466.
[3] van Raalte, H., Egorov, V., Lucente, V., Murphy, M. and Saiz, C. (2013) 3D Tactile Imaging in Early Prolapse Detection. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 32, 704-705.
[4] van Raalte, H. and Egorov, V. (2015) Characterizing Female Pelvic Floor Conditions by Tactile Imaging. International Urogynecology Journal, 26, 607-609.
[5] Egorov, V. and Sarvazyan, A.P. (2008) Mechanical Imaging of the Breast. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 27, 1275-1287.
[6] Egorov, V., Ayrapetyan, S. and Sarvazyan, A.P. (2006) Prostate Mechanical Imaging: 3-D Image Composition and Feature Calculations. IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, 25, 1329-1340.
[7] Bump, R.C., Mattiasson, A., Bo, K., et al. (1996) The Standardization of Terminology of Female Pelvic Organ Prolapse and Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 175, 10-17.
[8] McGill, R., Tukey, J.W. and Larsen, W.A. (1978) Variations of Box Plots. American Statistician, 32, 12-16.
[9] Lei, L., Song, Y. and Chen, R. (2007) Biomechanical Properties of Prolapsed Vaginal Tissue in Pre- and Postmenopausal Women. International Urogynecology Journal, 18, 603-607.
[10] Hsu, Y., Chen, L., Tumbarello, J., Ashton-Miller, J.A., DeLancey, J.O. (2010) In Vivo Assessment of Anterior Compartment Compliance and Its Relation to Prolapse. International Urogynecology Journal, 21, 1111-1115.
[11] Sarvazyan, A.P. (2001) Elastic Properties of Soft Tissues. In: Levy, M., Bass, H.E. and Stern, R.R., Eds., Handbook of Elastic Properties of Solids, Liquids and Gases, Volume 3, Academic Press, New York, 107-127.
[12] Sarvazyan, A., Hall, T.J., Urban, M.W., Fatemi, M., Aglyamov, S.R. and Garra, B.S. (2011) An Overview of Elastography—An Emerging Branch of Medical Imaging. Current Medical Imaging Reviews, 7, 255-282.
[13] Krouskop, T.A., Dougherty, D.R. and Vinson, F.S. (1987) A Pulsed Doppler Ultrasonic System for Making Noninvasive Measurements of the Mechanical Properties of Soft Tissue. Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development, 24, 1-8.
[14] Krouskop, T.A., Wheeler, T.M., Kaller, F., Garra, B.S. and Hall, T. (1998) Elastic Moduli of Breast and Prostate Tissues under Compression. Ultrason Imaging, 20, 260-274.
[15] Egorov, V., Tsyuryupa, S., Kanilo, S., Kogit, M. and Sarvazyan, A. (2008) Tissue Elastometer. Medical Engineering and Physics, 30, 206-212.
[16] Dietz, H.P. (2010) The Role of Two- and Three-Dimensional Dynamic Ultrasonography in Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, 17, 282-294.
[17] Sarvazyan, A.P. (1998) Mechanical Imaging: A New Technology for Medical Diagnostics. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 49, 195-216.
[18] Sarvazyan, A.P. (2006) Model-Based Imaging. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 32, 1713-1720.
[19] Jung, S.A., Pretorius, D.H., Padda, B.S., Weinstein, M.M., Nager, C.W., den Boer, D.J. and Mittal, R.K. (2007) Vaginal High-Pressure Zone Assessed by Dynamic 3-Dimensional Ultrasound Images of the Pelvic Floor. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 197, 52.e1-52.e7.
[20] Bo, K. and Sherburn, M. (2005) Evaluation of Female Pelvic-Floor Muscle Function and Strength. Physical Therapy, 85, 269-282.
[21] Betschart, C., Kim, J., Miller, J.M., Ashton-Miller, J.A. and De Lancey, J.O. (2014) Comparison of Muscle Fiber Directions between Different Levator Ani Muscle Subdivisions: In Vivo MRI Measurements in Women. International Urogynecology Journal, 25, 1263-1268.
[22] Constantinou, C.E. and Omata, S. (2007) Direction Sensitive Sensor Probe for the Evaluation of Voluntary and Reflex Pelvic Floor Contractions. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 26, 386-391.
[23] Constantinou, C.E. (2009) Dynamics of Female Pelvic Floor Function Using Urodynamics, Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 144, S159-S165.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.