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Obstet Gynecol Sci > Volume 54(8); 2011 > Article
Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2011;54(8):420-427.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5468/KJOG.2011.54.8.420    Published online August 1, 2011.
Characteristics of the pelvic floor during pregnancy by 2D and 3D ultrasound.
Hye Ri Hong, Geum Joon Cho, Ae Ra Kang, Hye Mi Jin, Yung Taek Ouh, Min Jeong Oh, Hai Joong Kim
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Guro Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. mjohmd@korea.ac.kr
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
The aim of this study was to evaluate morphological characteristics of the pelvic floor in pregnant women using 2- and 3-dimensional (D)-transperineal ultrasound and compare our findings with findings in non-pregnant women. METHODS: This case-control study included 40 nulliparous pregnant women at term and 28 nulliparous, non-pregnant women (age-matched). The 2D- and 3D-transperineal ultrasounds were carried out in the semi-supine position, after voiding, at rest and during the Valsalva maneuver. Various biometric parameters related to characteristics of the pelvic floor were measured. RESULTS: Satisfactory biometric measurements were obtained in all cases. The mean thickness of the levator ani muscle was significantly greater in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women (P<0.05). The mean levator hiatus angle and transverse diameter of the levator hiatus were significantly lower in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women (P<0.05). The anteroposterior diameter of the levator hiatus was not significantly different between pregnant women and non-pregnant women. CONCLUSION: Pregnant women had significantly thicker the levator ani muscles but smaller hiatal areas, as measured by the levator hiatus angle and transverse diameter, than did non-pregnant women. Pregnancy itself may cause morphological changes to the pelvic floor to support the birth canal by closing the lower end of the pelvic cavity as a diaphragm. Further studies are needed to evaluate morphologic changes of the pelvic floor following delivery as measured by 2D and 3D-transperineal ultrasound.
Key Words: Ultrasonography, Pregnant, Pelvic floor


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