Pelvic inflammatory disease: current concepts in pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment

Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2013 Dec;27(4):793-809. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2013.08.004. Epub 2013 Oct 31.


Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is characterized by infection and inflammation of the upper genital tract in women and can cause significant reproductive health sequelae for women. Although a definitive diagnosis of PID is made by laparoscopic visualization of inflamed, purulent fallopian tubes, PID is generally a clinical diagnosis and thus represents a diagnostic challenge. Therefore, diagnosis and treatment algorithms advise a high index of suspicion for PID in any woman of reproductive age with pelvic or abdominal pain. Antibiotic therapy should be started early, and given for an adequate period of time to reduce the risk of complications. Coverage for anaerobic organisms should be considered in most cases.

Keywords: Cervical infection; Chlamydia trachomatis; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Pelvic inflammatory disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease* / diagnosis
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease* / drug therapy
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease* / microbiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / complications


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents