Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich syndrome: a rare presentation with pyocolpos

J Radiol Case Rep. 2012 Mar;6(3):9-15. doi: 10.3941/jrcr.v6i3.877. Epub 2012 Mar 1.


Obstructed hemivagina and ipsilateral renal anomaly (OHVIRA), also known as Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich syndrome, is a rare syndrome with only a few hundred reported cases described since 1922. Only a handful of these cases have been associated with pyocolpos. Mullerian duct anomalies have an incidence of 2-3%. While OHVIRA constitutes 0.16-10% of these Mullerian duct anomalies. Symptoms usually present shortly after menarche when hematocolpos develops during menstruation resulting in dysmenorrhea and a pelvic mass. The pelvic mass is the collection of blood products within the obstructed hemivagina. The first study in the diagnostic work-up is usually ultrasonography, which typically demonstrates a pelvic fluid collection which can simulate other disease processes thus confounding the diagnosis. MRI findings of the pelvis reveal a didelphic uterus. Imaging of the abdomen reveals agenesis of the ipsilateral kidney. MRI is beneficial in characterizing the didelphic uterus and vaginal septum for pre-operative planning. Understanding the imaging findings, in conjunction with the clinical presentation, is critical for early diagnosis in attempting to prevent complications such as endometriosis or adhesions from chronic infections with subsequent infertility.

Keywords: Herlyn-Werner-Wunderlich syndrome; Mullerian duct anomalies; OHVIRA; didelphic uterus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / embryology
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / pathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Hematocolpos / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / abnormalities*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Mullerian Ducts / abnormalities
  • Syndrome
  • Uterus / abnormalities*
  • Vagina / abnormalities*