Patient acceptability and quality of self-administered intravaginal gel for pelvic MRI
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 19:25 authored by Noemi J. Hughes, Sanjaya Kalkur, Jufen Zhang, Sidath H. Liyanage
Background: MRI of the pelvis can be limited for infiltrating lesions or those of same signal intensity as surrounding structures. Vaginal distension using aqueous gel counters this by defining the fornices, cervix and anterior rectal wall. This increases the accuracy of diagnosis and staging of various pelvic pathology, however, there is currently neither a universally accepted protocol for using gel nor focus on patient self-administration. Aims: To improve patient expectations regarding pelvic MRI with intravaginal gel, as well as the service we provide should they prefer self-administration and this produces vaginal distension of radiological quality equivalent to doctor-administration. Methods: Illustrated information explaining the benefits of gel and the technique of self-administration was sent to patients scheduled for pelvic MRI between March 2020 and April 2021 at our study centre. This included a questionnaire to assess understanding and preference for self-administration. Vaginal distension achieved on imaging was analysed using TeraRecon and compared between self and doctor-administered cases. Results: 38 of 45 patients opted for self-administration of gel. Those who identified as White British were more likely to self-administer. There was comparable quality of vaginal distension between self and doctor administered cases, with no significant difference between orthogonal measurements and retained gel volume. Conclusion: Self-administration of intravaginal gel for pelvic MRI is acceptable to patients and frees a doctor of this duty. It is a well tolerated technique which produces high quality vaginal distention on imaging. We recommend wider use of intravaginal and even rectal gel in the investigation of complex endometriosis and pelvic tumours.
Publication titleJournal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders
- Accepted version