Diagnostic value of pelvic floor ultrasonography for diagnosis of pelvic organ prolapse: a systematic review

  • Yuanjing Gao
  • Zhiwei Zhao
  • Yanlin Yang
  • Meiqin Zhang
  • Jiang WuEmail author
  • Yali MiaoEmail author
Review Article


Introduction and hypothesis

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a common medical condition universally. In addition to physical examination, experts have increasingly turned their attention to ultrasound in diagnosing POP for its low cost and dynamic imaging. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the methods of pelvic floor ultrasound in diagnosing POP, which has been lacking up till now.


We included original papers comparing the outcome of the Pelvic Organ Prolapse Quantification system and ultrasound, published from 2008 to present in English, using electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, PUBMED). All stages of the review were conducted in parallel by two reviewers.


Fifteen papers were included. We found that current methods have advantages and limitations. The main methods are to measure levator hiatus-related parameters and distances between the lowest point of the pelvic organs and reference lines during Valsalva maneuver, contraction, and at rest.


Pelvic floor ultrasound is valuable in diagnosing POP, yet suffers from a weakness in precision compared with physical examination. From the existing research, we found that the differences in baseline data such as weight, height, ethnicity, etc., may affect the cutoffs of the above-mentioned parameters. Further research is required to find one appropriate cutoff for each parameter, even if it is necessary to set group values for every parameter according to varying situations.


Pelvic floor ultrasound Pelvic organ prolapse Clinical examination POP-Q 



Foundation of Sichuan Provincial Science and Technology Program (Grant No. 2019YFH0147), Foundation of Chengdu Municipal Science and Technology Program (Grant No. 2018YF0500195SN) and Foundation of West China Second Hospital Program (Grant No. KX111) are acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Financial disclaimers

The authors acknowledge the following financial support: Foundation of Sichuan Provincial Science and Technology Program (Grant No. 2019YFH0147); Foundation of Chengdu Municipal Science and Technology Program (Grant No. 2018YF0500195SN); Foundation of West China Second Hospital Program (Grant No. KX111).


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Copyright information

© The International Urogynecological Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children of MOE, West China Second University Hospital, West China CampusSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.West China School of Basic Medical Sciences & Forensic MedicineSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Deep Underground Space Medical Center, West China HospitalSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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