MR Defecating Proctography with Emphasis on Posterior Compartment Disorders

Jonathan W. Revels, Bahar Mansoori, Shaimaa Fadl, Sherry S. Wang, Michael C. Olson, Shamus K. Moran, Martha F. Terrazas, Joel G. Fletcher, William R.G. Perry, Victoria Chernyak, Achille Mileto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MR defecating proctography provides temporally resolved multiplanar views of the pelvic floor musculature and pelvic organs, with images interpreted by using standard terms and definitions to guide gastroenterologists, urogynecologists, and colorectal surgeons in the treatment of posterior compartment disorders. MR defecating proctography (MRDP) is a noninvasive examination that can be used for evaluating posterior compartment disorders. MRDP has several advantages over conventional fluoroscopic defecography. These benefits include high-contrast resolution evaluation of the deep pelvic organs, simultaneous multicompartmental assessment that is performed statically and dynamically during defecation, and lack of ionizing radiation. MRDP also provides a highly detailed anatomic evaluation of the pelvic floor supportive structures, including direct assessment of the pelvic floor musculature and indirect assessment of the endopelvic fascia. As the breadth of knowledge regarding anatomic and functional posterior compartment disorders expands, so too does the advancement of noninvasive and surgical treatment options for these conditions. High-quality MRDP examinations, with key anatomic and functional features reported, guide treatment planning. Reporting of MRDP examination findings with use of standardized terminology that emphasizes objective measurements rather than subjective grading aids consistent communication among radiologists, clinicians, and surgeons. Familiarity with commonly encountered posterior compartment pelvic floor pathologic entities that contribute to posterior compartment disorders and awareness of the essential information needed by surgeons are key to providing an optimal multidisciplinary discussion for planning pelvic floor dysfunction treatment. The authors provide an overview of the basic concepts of the MRDP acquisition technique, the anatomic abnormalities of posterior compartment pelvic floor pathologic entities associated with defecatory disorders, and recently developed interdisciplinary MRDP reporting templates and lexicons. In addition, the associated imaging findings that are key for surgical treatment guidance are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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