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PurposeWe assessed the merit of dynamic half Fourier acquisition, single shot turbo spin-echo sequence T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for evaluating pelvic organ prolapse and all other female pelvic pathology by prospectively correlating clinical with imaging findings.Materials and MethodsFrom September 1997 to April 1998, 100 consecutive women 23 to 88 years old with (65) and without (35) pelvic organ prolapse underwent half Fourier acquisition, single shot turbo spin-echo sequence dynamic pelvic T2-weighted MRI at our institution using a 1.5 Tesla magnet with phased array coils. Mid sagittal and parasagittal views with the patient supine, relaxed and straining were obtained using no pre-examination preparation or instrumentation. We evaluated the anterior vaginal wall, bladder, urethra, posterior vaginal wall, rectum, pelvic floor musculature, perineum, uterus, vaginal cuff, ovaries, ureters and intraperitoneal organs for all pathological conditions, including pelvic prolapse. Patients underwent a prospective physical examination performed by a female urologist, and an experienced radiologist blinded to pre-imaging clinical findings interpreted all studies. Physical examination, MRI and intraoperative findings were statistically correlated.ResultsTotal image acquisition time was 2.5 minutes, room time 10 minutes and cost American $540. Half Fourier acquisition, single shot turbo spin-echo T2-weighted MRI revealed pathological entities other than pelvic prolapse in 55 cases, including uterine fibroids in 11, ovarian cysts in 9, bilateral ureteronephrosis in 3, nabothian cyst in 7, Bartholin’s gland cyst in 4, urethral diverticulum in 3, polytetrafluoroethylene graft abscess in 3, bladder diverticulum in 2, sacral spinal abnormalities in 2, bladder tumor in 1, sigmoid diverticulosis in 1 and other in 9. Intraoperative findings were considered the gold standard against which physical examination and MRI were compared. Using these criteria the sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value of MRI were 100%, 83% and 97% for cystocele; 100%, 75% and 94% for urethrocele; 100%, 54% and 33% for vaginal vault prolapse; 83%, 100% and 100% for uterine prolapse; 87%, 80% and 91% for enterocele; and 76%, 50% and 96% for rectocele.ConclusionsDynamic half Fourier acquisition, single shot turbo spin-echo MRI appears to be an important adjunct in the comprehensive evaluation of the female pelvis. Except for rectocele, pelvic floor prolapse is accurately staged and pelvic organ pathology reliably detected. The technique is rapid, noninvasive and cost-effective, and it allows the clinician to visualize the whole pelvis using a single dynamic study that provides superb anatomical detail.

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