Skip to main content

[Imaging of the pelvic floor (MR defecography) : The surgeon's perspective].

Radiologie (Heidelberg, Germany)

Authors: Jonas Dohmen, Claus C Pieper, Jörg C Kalff, Tim Vilz

BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance defecography (MRD) plays a central role in diagnosing pelvic floor functional disorders by visualizing the entire pelvic floor along with pelvic organs and providing functional assessment of the defecation process. A shared understanding between radiology and surgery regarding indications and interpretation of findings is crucial for optimal utilization of MRD.

OBJECTIVES: This review aims to explain the indications for MRD from a surgical perspective and elucidate the significance of radiological findings for treatment. It intends to clarify for which symptoms MRD is appropriate and which criteria should be followed for standardized results. This is prerequisite to develop interdisciplinary therapeutic approaches.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was conducted, including current consensus guidelines.

RESULTS: MRD can provide relevant findings in the diagnosis of fecal incontinence and obstructed defecation syndrome, particularly in cases of pelvic floor descent, enterocele, intussusception, and pelvic floor dyssynergia. However, rectocele findings in MRD should be interpreted with caution in order to avoid overdiagnosis.

CONCLUSION: MRD findings should never be considered in isolation but rather in conjunction with patient history, clinical examination, and symptomatology since morphology and functional complaints may not always correlate, and there is wide variance of normal values. Interdisciplinary interpretation of MRD results involving radiology, surgery, gynecology, and urology, preferably in the context of pelvic floor conferences, is recommended.

© 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature.

PMID: 37831101

Participating cluster members