Ultrasound diagnostic criteria for ovarian and deep endometriosis
Mara Albanese1 – , Carlotta Zorzi1, Anna Katarzyna Stepniewska1 – , Paola De Mitri1 – , Giamberto Trivella1, Silvia Baggio1– , Mariangela Fornalè, Marcello Ceccaroni1–
1 – Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecological Oncology and Mini-Invasive Pelvic Surgery, International School of Surgical Anatomy, IRCCS “Sacro Cuore – Don Calabria” Hospital, Negrar di Valpolicella, Verona
Corresponding authors: Mara Albanese, Carlotta Zorzi
Transvaginal ultrasonography is considered the first-line imaging technique for the diagnosis of endometriosis because it allows accurate exploration of the pelvis. In the evaluation of ovarian disease, ultrasonography is useful in recognizing endometrioma and distinguishing it from other diseases. The “typical” endometrioma is a unilocular cyst with “ground glass” echogenicity. The ultrasound features of endometriotic cysts change during pregnancy due to decidualization and with advancing age. In particular, the presence of vascularized solid component should raise suspicion of malignant formation. In the evaluation of extra-ovarian disease, ultrasound is useful to identify and evaluate the extention of DIE in the pelvic structures. The transvaginal evaluation is a dynamic and interactive exam. It is essential to identify the “sliding sign” of the anterior and posterior compartments, the tenderness of the tissues and organs, the“pain mapping” that means pain induced by the probe. Transvaginal ultrasonography allows for an accurate evaluation of the vagina, particularly the areas of the posterior and lateral vaginal fornixes, the retrocervical area, the uterosacral ligaments, and the rectovaginal septum. The slightly filled bladder allows to evaluate the bladder walls and the presence of endometriotic nodules that appear as linear or spherical hypoechoic lesions protruding towards the lumen, affecting the serosa, the muscle or the (sub) mucosa of the bladder. Deep rectal nodules appear as hypoechoic lesions with regular or irregular borders, poorly or non-vascularized on Color Doppler, which infiltrate the intestinal wall distorting its normal structure. An adequate ultrasound diagnosis is essential to perform adequate patient management.
Keywords: pelvic ultrasound; endometrioma; deep endometriosis; ovarian cyst.
Available in LRIOG Nr.3 – 2021