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MRI May Reveal Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in Patients with IC/BPS

Ackerman AL, Lee UJ, Jellison FC, Tan N, Patel M, Raman SS, Rodriguez LV. MRI suggests increased tonicity of the levator ani in women with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. Int Urogynecol J. 2015 Aug 1. [Epub ahead of print]

Pelvic floor hypertonicity (tightness of pelvic floor muscles) can contribute to pelvic pain and a variety of other symptoms. In this study, investigators sought to determine if they could use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to reveal pelvic floor dysfunction in patients with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome (IC/BPS). In the study, a total of 15 women with IC/BPS and 15 control subjects without IC/BPS underwent MRI. Indeed, the MRI revealed features suggestive of pelvic floor hypertonicity in the IC/BPS patients. Investigators said pelvic floor hypertonicity in women with IC/BPS may contribute to, or amplify, pelvic pain. However, further studies are needed to better characterize how MRI could be used to help identify and understand pelvic floor hypertonicity in the setting of IC/BPS.