Characterising Acute Gynaecological Pathology With Ultrasound: An Overview and Case Examples

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2009 Oct;23(5):577-93. doi: 10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2009.02.005. Epub 2009 Apr 28.


This article summarises the ultrasound features of a number of gynaecological emergencies: ectopic pregnancy, haemorrhagic corpus luteum, twisted adnexa, pelvic inflammatory disease, acute myoma necrosis, haematocolpos and haematometra. The basis of all diagnosis in women with acute gynaecological conditions is history and clinical examination. An ultrasound examination should only be performed if it is likely to provide information that would change the likelihood of the diagnosis suspected on the basis of clinical data. If ultrasound findings are abnormal, then it is important to thoroughly evaluate if they do explain the woman's symptoms or if they are merely an incidental finding. If ultrasound findings are completely normal, then the risk of significant pelvic pathology is probably small.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adnexal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Endometriosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hematocolpos / diagnostic imaging
  • Hematometra / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Necrosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Ovarian Cysts / diagnostic imaging
  • Peritoneal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnostic imaging*
  • Torsion Abnormality / diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography
  • Uterine Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging