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Effect of Graded Bicycle Seat Pressure on Perineal Compression: An MRI Analysis
  1. Eadric Bressel (ebressel{at}
  1. Utah State University, United States
    1. Dan Parker
    1. Cache Valley Specialty Hospital, United States


      Objective: To identify a seat pressure threshold that corresponds to significant compression of the perineum.

      Design: Quasiexperimental crossover.

      Setting: Radiology department of a hospital.

      Participants: A convenience sample of 6 male recreational cyclists.

      Intervention: Compression of the corpus spongiosum and corpora cavernosa of the perineum without bicycle seat pressure (0) and at 10%, 40%, and 80% of the mean bicycling pressure was assessed using MRI. Seat pressure was applied using a custom loading device designed to replicate seat pressure recorded during stationary bicycling.

      Outcome Measure: Diameter measurements of the cavernous spaces at the point of peak compression.

      Results: The mean diameter values for the corpus spongiosum in the unloaded and 10% of load conditions were 105% and 172% greater than the 40% and 80% loaded conditions, respectively (P = 0.002-0.004). Similarly, the corpora cavernosa values for the unloaded and 10% of max load conditions were 115% and 175% greater than the 40% and 80% loaded conditions, respectively (P = 0.001-0.0001).

      Conclusions: From our data it may be suggested that substantial compression of the perineal cavernous spaces occurs with total seat pressure values of less than 40% of typical seat loads.

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