BACKGROUND: The injection of muscle precursor cells (MPC) into the external urinary sphincter muscle (EUS) is a promising therapeutic option for regenerative treatment of stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The objective of the present project was to conduct a pre-clinical trial to investigate the feasibility and accuracy of ultrasound (US) guided, transurethral injections into the EUS of female cadavers.
METHODS: This is a prospective, anatomical, interventional and radiological cadaveric laboratory investigation. Two urologists performed transurethral US-guided injections to deliver nano-iron particles into the EUS. The intervention was performed in three unfixed, fresh female cadavers. Each cadaver received MRI before and CT as well as MRI of the pelvis after the injections.
RESULTS: The precision and accumulation of nano-iron particles in the EUS was compared using a rating scale to evaluate left versus right and anterior versus posterior distribution in axial and sagittal orientation with US, MRI and CT. The accuracy of our US-guided injections into the anterior target region yielded 4 points on the rating scale. Adequate precision and accumulation of particles in the left versus right EUS were also demonstrated (3 vs. 3.33 points, respectively). Signal intensity in MRI revealed a mean ratio of 0.33 before and after injection. CT scans showed no relevant artefacts impairing the assessment.
CONCLUSION: US-guided, transurethral injection into the EUS is feasible and imaging reveals a precise accumulation in the target region. Our method provides an appropriate approach to deliver MPC in the EUS muscle for a regenerative treatment of SUI in the near future.