Cost-effectiveness of transvaginal sonography and saline infused sonography in the evaluation of menorrhagia

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2003 Oct;83(1):45-52. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7292(03)00080-8.


Objectives: To assess the cost-effectiveness of transvaginal sonography (TVS) and saline infused sonography (SIS) in the diagnostic work-up of women with menorrhagia.

Methods: We performed a decision analysis in which we compared the percentage of patients treated successfully and cost of six strategies for the evaluation of menorrhagia: (0) hormonal treatment, (I) treatment of all patients with balloon ablation, (II) TVS and therapeutic hysteroscopy, (III) TVS, SIS and therapeutic hysteroscopy, (IV) SIS and therapeutic hysteroscopy, and (V) diagnostic hysteroscopy and therapeutic hysteroscopy. Hormonal treatment was considered to be the reference strategy to which the five strategies were compared. Data were obtained from the published literature. In order to evaluate the robustness of our results, we performed extensive sensitivity analyses, in which we varied sensitivity and specificity of TVS and hysteroscopy, the prevalence of intracavitary abnormalities, as well as costs of TVS and SIS.

Results: We found that the strategy starting with SIS (IV) and the strategy with diagnostic hysteroscopy (V) revealed the highest number of patients treated successfully for menorrhagia. In terms of cost-effectiveness, SIS for all patients was superior over immediate diagnostic hysteroscopy for all patients. Strategies starting with TVS were less effective than the strategy starting with SIS.

Conclusions: We recommend SIS as the procedure of first choice in the work-up for women with menorrhagia.

MeSH terms

  • Catheter Ablation / economics
  • Catheter Ablation / instrumentation
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Trees
  • Endometrium / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysteroscopy / economics
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Menorrhagia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Menorrhagia / economics
  • Menorrhagia / therapy*
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Progestins / therapeutic use
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage
  • Sodium Chloride / economics
  • Ultrasonography / economics*
  • Ultrasonography / methods*
  • Uterus / diagnostic imaging
  • Uterus / pathology
  • Vagina


  • Progestins
  • Sodium Chloride