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Effect of graded bicycle seat pressure on perineal compression: a magnetic resonance imaging analysis
  1. Eadric Bressel1,
  2. Dan Parker2
  1. 1Biomechanics Laboratory, HPER Department, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA
  2. 2Cache Valley Specialty Hospital, North Logan, Utah, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eadric Bressel, Biomechanics Laboratory, HPER Department, Utah State University, 7000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA; eadric.bressel{at}


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

Design Quasiexperimental crossover.

Setting Hospital radiology department.

Participants Convenience sample of six 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 magnetic resonance imaging. Seat pressure was applied using a custom loading device.

Outcome Measure 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). The corpora cavernosa values displayed a similar trend.

Conclusions Substantial compression of the perineal cavernous spaces may occur with total seat pressure values of less than 40% of typical seat loads.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from Utah State University.

  • Patient consent Obtained.