Development of a near-infrared spectroscopy interface able to assess oxygen recovery kinetics in the right and left sides of the pelvic floor


© The Authors. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) muscle oxygenation data are relied on in sports medicine. Many women with urinary incontinence (UI) have dysfunctional pelvic floor muscles (PFMs) but their evaluation lacks such measures; a transvaginal NIRS interface would enable the PFM to be interrogated. Paired miniature fiber-optic cables were configured on a rigid foam insert so their emitter detector arrays with an interoptode distance of 20 mm apposed the right and left inner sides of a disposable clear plastic vaginal speculum, and linked to a standard commercial NIRS instrument. Measurement capability was assessed through conduct of three maximum voluntary contractions (MVCs) and one sustained maximum voluntary contraction of the PFM with calculation of HbDiff (RT), a validated muscle reoxygenation kinetic parameter. In all four asymptomatic controls, mean age 40, mean BMI 21.4, MVCs were associated with changes in PFM oxyhemoglobin (O2Hb), deoxyhemoglobin (HHb) concentration, and their difference (HbDiff) comparable to those in voluntary muscle sports medicine studies. NIRS data during recovery (reoxygenation) allowed calculation of HbDiff (RT). New techniques are called for to evaluate UI. This NIRS interface warrants further development as the provision of quantitative reoxygenation kinetics offers more comprehensive evaluation of patients with PFM dysfunction.

Journal of Biomedical Optics