Visualization of the Dynamics of the Female Pelvic Floor Reflex and Steady State Function

  • Christos E. ConstantinouEmail author
  • Qiyu Peng
  • Sadao Omata
Part of the Computational Methods in Applied Sciences book series (COMPUTMETHODS, volume 19)


Female urinary incontinence has been recently termed a “silent epidemic”, requiring systematic attention and a multidisciplinary approach towards economically ameliorating its impact. In this paper we examine the role of the pelvic floor (PF) in maintaining urinary continence by evaluating the dynamics produced during its voluntary and reflex activation. Analytical methods for the acquisition and subsequent ultrasound analysis of movement of PF structures during maneuvers that are associated with exercises are presented to enable the development of criteria and unique new parameters that define the kinematics of PF function. Principal among these parameters, are displacement, velocity, acceleration and the trajectory of pelvic floor landmarks facilitating functional and anatomical visualization. Different methods of movement detection, including motion tracking algorithms and segmentation algorithms were developed to acquire new dynamic parameters of Pelvic structures during different maneuvers. 2D animation was applied to enhance the ultrasound imaging and highlight the timing of the movement and deformation to fast and stressful maneuvers, which are important for understanding the neuromuscular control mechanisms in urinary continence. Parameters were derived using image processing of non-invasive trans-perineal scanning and probe measurements from asymptomatic volunteers as well as patients presenting with relevant pathology. In each case the results are visualized using a graphic interface deigned to illustrate the significant factors separating the continent from the incontinent subjects.


Ultrasound Biomechanics Segmentation Biomechanics 



This work was funded in part by NIH, grant 1R21 EB 001654 and R01 EB006170. We like to acknowledge the contributions of R. Jones and V. Wolfe for assistance in data collection and the clinical support of Dr. CK Payne


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christos E. Constantinou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Qiyu Peng
    • 1
  • Sadao Omata
    • 1
  1. 1.Stanford University School of Medicine (Urology)StanfordUSA

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