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Concept: Perineum

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PURPOSE: This study prospectively compared the diagnostic capabilities of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with conventional defecography (CD) in outlet obstruction syndrome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Nineteen consecutive patients with clinical symptoms of outlet obstruction underwent pelvic MR examination. The MR imaging protocol included static T2-weighted fast spin-echo (FSE) images in the sagittal, axial and coronal planes; dynamic midsagittal T2-weighted single-shot (SS)-FSE and fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition (FIESTA) cine images during contraction, rest, straining and defecation. MR images (including and then excluding the evacuation phase) were compared with CD, which is considered the reference standard. RESULTS: Comparison between CD and MR with evacuation phase (MRWEP) showed no significant differences in sphincter hypotonia, dyssynergia, rectocele or rectal prolapse and significant differences in descending perineum. Comparison between CD and MR without evacuation phase (MRWOEP) showed no significant differences in sphincter hypotonia, dyssynergia or enterocele but significant differences in rectocele, rectal prolapse and descending perineum. Comparison between MRWEP and MRWOEP showed no significant differences in sphincter hypotonia, dyssynergia, enterocele or descending perineum but significant differences in rectocele, rectal prolapse, peritoneocele, cervical cystoptosis and hysteroptosis. CONCLUSIONS: MR imaging provides morphological and functional study of pelvic floor structures and may offer an imaging tool complementary to CD in multicompartment evaluation of the pelvis. An evacuation phase is mandatory.

Concepts: Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging, Pelvis, Pelvic floor, Rectum, Coronal plane, Perineum, Rectal prolapse

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In humans, recent studies have correlated anogenital distance (AGD) in adult men to intrinsic testicular function. Although rodent studies suggest that AGD is determined in utero and remains constant in adult life, it is not certain if AGD remains constant across a man’s adult life. We sought to determine if adult male AGD varies based on age. A cross-sectional study of men being evaluated at a men’s health clinic. Anogenital distance (the distance from the posterior aspect of the scrotum to the anal verge) and penile length (PL) were measured using digital callipers. anova and linear regression were used to determine correlations between AGD, fatherhood status and age. In all, 473 men were included in the analysis with a mean age of 43 ± 13 years. The mean AGD for the group was 39 ± 13 mm. Anogenital distance did not vary between age categories for the entire group, for fathers, and for childless men. Moreover, penile length also remained constant across age categories. On adjusted analyses stratified by fatherhood status, there was no relationship between AGDp and age. The current cross-sectional study demonstrates that anogenital distance, defined as the distance from the posterior scrotum to the anal verge, is similar for men of different ages. As such, AGD may provide a measure for genital development and function throughout adult life. However, confirmation with longitudinal studies is needed.

Concepts: Longitudinal study, Research methods, Cross-sectional study, Sociology, Penis, Scrotum, Perineum, Erogenous zone

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OBJECTIVE: It is important to understand the underlying mechanisms of the physiological framework of the pelvic organ support system to develop more effective interventions. Developing more successful interventions for restoration of defects of the pelvic floor will lead to symptomatic improvement of pelvic floor prolapse and stress incontinence disorders. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the physiological framework related to the pelvic organ support system and propose the underlying mechanisms of pelvic organ support based on the anatomical findings. STUDY DESIGN: Ten female soft embalmed cadavers were dissected after a colorectal hands-on workshop to visualize components of the pelvic organ support system. RESULTS: The puborectalis attached at the superior pubic ramus above the arcus tendineus fasciae pelvis. The anterior half of the iliococcygeus originated at the level of the arcus tendineus fasciae pelvis but descended from the arcus tendineus fasciae pelvis before it reached the ischial spine. The fibrous visceral sheath of the endopelvic fascia covered both the bladder and the upper vagina and bound these structures together. The levator ani muscle was separated into a horizontal and a vertical part at the medial attachment of the fibrous visceral sheath. A well-circumscribed adipose cushion pillow, in the ischioanal fossa and its anterior recess, supported the horizontal part of the levator ani muscle and pressed the vertical part against the pelvic viscera. Perivascular sheaths and pelvic nerve plexuses were reinforced by condensed endopelvic fascia, they suspended the pelvic organs posterolaterally. CONCLUSION: The pelvic organ support framework consists of two mechanical structures: (1) the supporting system of the levator ani muscle, the arcus tendineus fasciae pelvis and the adipose cushion pillow, and (2) the suspension system of the neurovascular structures and the associated endopelvic fascia condensation.

Concepts: Muscle, Urinary bladder, Pelvis, Pelvic floor, Human anatomy, Pubis, Perineum, Levator ani

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We aimed in this study to investigate the efficacy of laparoscopic pudendal nerve decompression and transposition (LaPNDT) in the treatment of chronic pelvic pain due to pudendal neuralgia. Pudendal nerve entrapment (PNE) between the sacrospinous and sacrotuberous ligaments is the most frequent etiology. We describe the technical details, feasibility, and advantages of a laparoscopic approach in patients with PNE.

Concepts: Nociception, Pelvis, Perineum, Lesser sciatic foramen, Greater sciatic foramen, Sacrotuberous ligament, Sacrospinous ligament

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Perineal hernia is an uncommon complication of abdominoperineal resection of the rectum. Gracilis muscle flaps can be used to reconstruct the pelvic floor. The traditional repair utilises gracilis muscle alone, without overlying tissues and skin. We present the case of a 69-year-old white man who presented with a perineal hernia subsequent to abdominoperineal resection for advanced rectal cancer who was successfully treated with a modified de-epithelised gracilis myocutaneous flap with no evidence of recurrence at 18 months postsurgery. Surgical repair of postoperative perineal hernia using a gracilis flap spares the morbidity of abdominal-based reconstruction and provides a good option for patients in whom the abdomen is unavailable. Use of a myocutaneous flap adds strength to the repair when compared to reconstruction with the gracilis muscle alone, owing to the strength imparted by the dermis.

Concepts: Surgery, Hernia, Pelvis, Pelvic floor, Rectum, Hernias, Perineum, Perineal hernia

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Penile girth augmentation can be achieved by various techniques, among which are liposuction injection, synthetic grafts, and autologous grafts, with variable outcome, mostly related to viability and receptivity of the tissue used for augmentation. Flaps are considered superior to grafts considering their uninterrupted blood supply.

Concepts: Blood, Vagina, Penis, Perineum, Foreskin restoration, Penis enlargement, Phalloplasty

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Pregnant women benefit from completing pelvic floor muscle exercises (PFMEs). The aims of the study were to evaluate pregnant women’s levels of awareness, knowledge, and beliefs about the pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) and PFMEs.

Concepts: Childbirth, Muscle, Physical exercise, Urinary bladder, Muscular system, Pelvis, Pelvic floor, Perineum

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Is first trimester phthalate exposure associated with anogenital distance (AGD), a biomarker of prenatal androgen exposure, in newborns?

Concepts: Pregnancy, Childbirth, Phthalates, Perineum

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The masculinizing effects of prenatal androgens on human neurobehavioral development are well established. Also, the early postnatal surge of androgens in male infants, or mini-puberty, has been well documented and is known to influence physiological development, including penile growth. However, neurobehavioral effects of androgen exposure during mini-puberty are largely unknown. The main aim of the current study was to evaluate possible neurobehavioral consequences of mini-puberty by relating penile growth in the early postnatal period to subsequent behavior. Using multiple linear regression, we demonstrated that penile growth between birth and three months postnatal, concurrent with mini-puberty, significantly predicted increased masculine/decreased feminine behavior assessed using the Pre-School Activities Inventory (PSAI) in 81 healthy boys at 3 to 4years of age. When we controlled for other potential influences on masculine/feminine behavior and/or penile growth, including variance in androgen exposure prenatally and body growth postnatally, the predictive value of penile growth in the early postnatal period persisted. More specifically, prenatal androgen exposure, reflected in the measurement of anogenital distance (AGD), and early postnatal androgen exposure, reflected in penile growth from birth to 3months, were significant predictors of increased masculine/decreased feminine behavior, with each accounting for unique variance. Our findings suggest that independent associations of PSAI with AGD at birth and with penile growth during mini-puberty reflect prenatal and early postnatal androgen exposures respectively. Thus, we provide a novel and readily available approach for assessing effects of early androgen exposures, as well as novel evidence that early postnatal androgen exposure influences human neurobehavioral development.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, Childbirth, Human, Variance, Prediction, Postnatal, Perineum

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To describe occurrence, recovery, and consequences of musculoskeletal injuries in women at-risk for childbirth-related pelvic floor injury at first vaginal birth.

Concepts: Childbirth, Uterus, Pelvis, Cervix, Pelvic floor, Vagina, Perineum, Levator ani