Doppler studies of the ovarian venous blood flow in the diagnosis of adnexal torsion

J Clin Ultrasound. 2009 Oct;37(8):436-9. doi: 10.1002/jcu.20621.


Purpose: To evaluate the role of ovarian Doppler studies in diagnosing adnexal torsion.

Methods: We included in that study all patients who had an adnexal mass with clinical symptoms of intermittent lower abdominal pain and were hospitalized for at least 48 hours of observation. Our protocol included: measurements of the size of the adnexal mass, presence or absence of ovarian edema, presence or absence of adnexal vascularity, presence or absence of ovarian artery flow, presence or absence of ovarian venous flow, pattern of ovarian venous flow. The ovarian artery and vein were sampled just above and lateral to the adnexa. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values in the diagnosis of adnexal torsion were calculated for each of the gray-scale and Doppler sonographic (US) findings.

Results: One hundred and ninety-nine patients presented with adnexal mass and intermittent lower abdominal pain. Sensitivity and specificity of tissue edema, absence of intra-ovarian vascularity, absence of arterial flow, and absence or abnormal venous flow in the diagnosis of adnexal torsion were: 21% and 100%, 52% and 91%, 76% and 99%, and 100% and 97%, respectively. All patients with adnexal torsion had absent flow or abnormal flow pattern in the ovarian vein. In 13 patients, the only abnormality was absent or abnormal ovarian venous flow with normal gray-scale US appearance and normal arterial blood flow. Of these 13 patients, 8 (62%) had adnexal torsion or subtorsion.

Conclusion: Abnormal ovarian venous flow may be the only abnormal US sign observed during the early stage of adnexal torsion.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adnexal Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adnexal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Flow Velocity / physiology*
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovary / blood supply*
  • Ovary / diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Torsion Abnormality / diagnostic imaging*
  • Torsion Abnormality / physiopathology
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color / methods*
  • Young Adult