Use of Dynamic MRI of the Pelvic Floor in the Assessment of Anterior Compartment Disorders

Ayushi P. Gupta, Prerna Raj Pandya, My Linh Nguyen, Tola Fashokun, Katarzyna Macura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Approximately 25% of women in the USA suffer from pelvic floor disorders. Disorders of the anterior compartment of the pelvic floor, in particular, can cause symptoms such as incomplete urinary voiding, urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, dyspareunia, and pelvic pain, potentially negatively impacting a woman's quality of life. In some clinical situations, clinical exam alone may be insufficient, especially when patient's symptoms are in excess of their pelvic exam findings. In many of these patients, dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) of the pelvic floor can be a valuable imaging tool allowing for comprehensive assessment of the entire pelvic anatomy and its function. RECENT FINDINGS: Traditionally, evaluation of the anterior compartment has been primarily through clinical examination with occasional use of urodynamic testing and ultrasound. In recent years, dMRI has continued to gain popularity due to its improved imaging quality, reproducibility, and ability to display the entire pelvic floor. Emerging evidence has also shown utility of dMRI in the postoperative setting. In spite of advances, there remains an ongoing discussion in contemporary literature regarding the accuracy of dMRI and its correlation with clinical examination and with patient symptoms. Dynamic pelvic MRI is a helpful adjunct to physical examination and urodynamic testing, particularly when a patient's symptoms are in excess of the physical examination findings. Evaluation with dMRI can guide preoperative and postoperative surgical management in many patients, especially in the setting of multicompartmental disorders. This review will summarize relevant pelvic floor anatomy and discuss the clinical application, imaging technique, imaging interpretation, and limitations of dMRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalCurrent Urology Reports
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 13 2018


  • Anterior compartment
  • Dynamic MRI of the pelvic floor
  • MR defecography
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Urinary incontinence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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