Objective: We prospectively evaluated transabdominal and transvaginal sonographic findings of patients with pelvic congestion syndrome and compared them with those of healthy volunteers. SUBJECTS AND METHODS. We examined 32 patients with pelvic congestion syndrome and 35 control subjects. Using transabdominal sonography, we evaluated the ovarian veins for diameter and flow direction, presence of pelvic varicocele, diameter of the pelvic veins, change of the duplex waveform during the Valsalva's maneuver, volume of the uterus, and presence of polycystic changes in the ovaries. We compared and statistically analyzed each parameter in the pelvic congestion syndrome group and in the control group.
Results: The mean (+/- SD) diameter of the left ovarian vein was 0.79 +/- 0.23 cm in the pelvic congestion syndrome group and 0.49 +/- 0.15 cm in the control group (p = 0.000). Reversed caudal flow in the left ovarian vein was present in 22 of 22 patients and in four of 16 control subjects. Pelvic varicoceles were present in all patients with pelvic congestion syndrome and in six control subjects. The mean diameter of the left pelvic vein was 0.68 +/- 0.21 cm in the pelvic congestion syndrome group and 0.42 +/- 0.19 cm in the control group; the mean diameter of the right pelvic vein was 0.64 +/- 0.24 cm in the pelvic congestion syndrome group and 0.35 +/- 0.14 cm in the control group (p = 0.000). Polycystic changes of the ovary were present in 13 patients with pelvic congestion syndrome (40.6%) and four control subjects (11.4%).
Conclusion: Sonographic findings of pelvic congestion syndrome were dilated left ovarian vein with reversed caudal flow, presence of varicocele, dilated arcuate veins crossing the uterine myometrium, polycystic changes of the ovary, and variable duplex waveform during the Valsalva's maneuver. Combined transabdominal and transvaginal sonography are potentially useful as a noninvasive screening tool for determining which patients with chronic pelvic pain may benefit from selective ovarian venography and transcatheter embolization.