Imaging Evaluation of Fallopian Tubes and Related Disease: A Primer for Radiologists

Radiographics. 2020 Sep-Oct;40(5):1473-1501. doi: 10.1148/rg.2020200051. Epub 2020 Aug 21.


A wide range of benign and malignant processes can affect one or both fallopian tubes. Familiarity with and recognition of the characteristic imaging features of these diseases and conditions are imperative for accurate diagnosis and prompt patient management. Disorders including pelvic inflammatory disease (hydrosalpinx and pyosalpinx in particular), isolated tubal torsion and ovarian torsion with fallopian tube involvement, endometriosis manifesting as hematosalpinx and adhesions, ectopic pregnancy, and malignancies are the most important entities that radiologists should be familiar with when assessing the fallopian tubes. Some fallopian tube diseases are self-limiting, while others can result in infertility or even potentially life-threatening infection or bleeding if left untreated. Therefore, correct diagnosis is important for appropriate life-saving treatment and preserving fertility. Understanding the physiologic features of the fallopian tube and the role of this organ in the pathogenesis of pelvic neoplasms is equally important. Knowledge of what to expect in a patient who has undergone uterine and fallopian tube interventions, such as uterine ablation and fallopian tube ligation, and of the potential associated complications (eg, postablation sterilization syndrome) also is pertinent. The imaging modalities used for the evaluation of fallopian tube disease and patency range from commonly used examinations such as US, CT, and MRI to other modalities such as hysterosalpingography and hysterosonography performed by using US contrast material. The ability to differentiate fallopian tube conditions from other adnexal and pelvic pathologic entities by using a variety of imaging modalities allows the radiologist to make a timely diagnosis and ensure proper clinical management. Online supplemental material is available for this article. ©RSNA, 2020.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans