Ultrasonographic Imaging Features of Female Urethral and Peri-urethral Masses: A Retrospective Study of 95 Patients

Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Aug;46(8):1896-1907. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2020.03.024. Epub 2020 May 22.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the imaging features of urethral and peri-urethral masses on transvaginal or transperineal ultrasound (US) in a cohort of 95 women. In this retrospective study, medical records of 95 female patients with 98 asymptomatic or symptomatic urethral and peri-urethral masses were retrospectively reviewed. Data regarding patient demographic characteristics, symptoms, signs, imaging features on 2-D and 3-D transvaginal or transperineal US, diagnostic tests and physical and intra-operative findings were extracted. The US imaging features and clinicopathologic characteristics of each urethral or peri-urethral mass were compared. On ultrasound, 39 masses (in 39 patients) were diagnosed as urethral diverticula, which manifested mostly as complex cystic masses (24/39, 61.5%); 35 masses (in 33 patients) were diagnosed as para-urethral cysts, which manifested mostly as simple cystic masses (19/35, 54.3%); 13 hypo-echoic solid masses (in 12 patients) exhibiting blood flow signals on color Doppler imaging were diagnosed as urethral leiomyomas; hypo-echoic or heterogeneous solid masses (in 8 patients) exhibiting blood flow signals on color Doppler imaging were diagnosed as urethral caruncles, including one complicated by malignant transformation; solid masses with mixed echogenicity (in 2 patients) exhibiting blood flow signals on color Doppler imaging were diagnosed as urethral squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma, and a hypoechoic solid mass (in one patient) with blood-flow signals on color Doppler imaging was diagnosed as urethral condyloma associated with human papillomavirus infection. This study confirmed transvaginal or transperineal 2-D and 3-D ultrasonography to be a valid, non-invasive, cost-effective diagnostic modality for the differential diagnosis of urethral and periurethral masses.

Keywords: Para-urethral cyst; Peri-urethral mass; Transperineal ultrasonography; Transvaginal ultrasonography; Urethral diverticulum; Urethral leiomyoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography* / methods
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color / methods
  • Urethra / diagnostic imaging*
  • Urethral Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Urethral Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Young Adult