Latent profile analysis of pelvic floor muscle pain in patients with chronic pelvic pain.
ABSTRACT Aim: Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is a syndrome of related diagnoses including pain originating from the muscles of the pelvic floor. The objective of this study was to evaluate which muscles are important to examine, in what manner pelvic floor muscle pain contributes to patients' pain experience, or what thresholds should be applied to identify significant pelvic floor muscle pain by comparing exam findings with outcome measures Methods: A total of 428 patients meeting the definition for CPP were evaluated using a standardized physical examination of the abdominal wall, pelvic floor, and vestibule along with the 12 domain Patient Reported Outcome Measures Information System (PROMIS). These scores were evaluated for unidimensionality followed by latent profile analysis. The areas under the receiver operator characteristic curves were used to identify the best pain threshold for each muscle. Results: The eight pelvic floor muscle sites all loaded onto a single factor, separate from other areas examined. Two latent classes were found within all the variables. Patients in the severe pelvic floor pain class had significantly worse pain related PROMIS scores. Optimal thresholds for identifying significant pelvic floor pain ranged between 3 and 5. Conclusion.:Pain in the pelvic floor muscles is distinguishable from pain in the abdominal wall and vulva. Any of the lateral muscle sites evaluated can be used to identify patients with significant pelvic floor pain. Two latent classes of CPP patients were identified: those with limited and those with severe pain, as identified by moderate to severe pelvic floor tenderness.
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ABSTRACT: Introduction. Defining clinical phenotypes based on physical examination is required for clarifying heterogeneous disorders such as chronic pelvic pain (CPP). The objective of this study was to determine the number of classes within 4 examinable regions and then establish threshold and optimal exam criteria for the classes discovered. Methods. A total of 476 patients meeting the criteria for CPP were examined using pain pressure threshold (PPT) algometry and standardized numeric scale (NRS) pain ratings at 30 distinct sites over 4 pelvic regions. Exploratory factor analysis, latent profile analysis, and ROC curves were then used to identify classes, optimal examination points, and threshold scores. Results. Latent profile analysis produced two classes for each region: high and low pain groups. The optimal examination sites (and high pain minimum thresholds) were for the abdominal wall region: the pair at the midabdomen (PPT threshold depression of > 2); vulvar vestibule region: 10:00 position (NRS > 2); pelvic floor region: puborectalis (combined NRS > 6); vaginal apex region: uterosacral ligaments (combined NRS > 8). Conclusion. Physical examination scores of patients with CPP are best categorized into two classes: high pain and low pain. Standardization of the physical examination in CPP provides both researchers and general gynecologists with a validated technique.12/2013; 2013:891301. DOI:10.1155/2013/891301