Added Value of Contrast-enhanced US for Evaluation of Female Pelvic Disease

Radiographics. 2024 Feb;44(2):e230092. doi: 10.1148/rg.230092.


Since the first application of contrast-enhanced US (CEUS) in the late 1960s, the use of US contrast agents has grown tremendously, and this examination has proved to be a valuable adjunct to diagnostic US for detection and characterization of disease. Also, CEUS has emerged as an excellent option for evaluation of indeterminate lesions that require additional imaging, given its excellent safety profile, including that in patients with end-stage renal disease or allergies to contrast material who are unable to undergo contrast-enhanced CT or MRI. US traditionally has been considered the imaging modality of choice for evaluation of the female pelvis, followed by MRI and rarely fluoroscopy, CT, PET, or angiography. CEUS has the potential to add significant value in imaging gynecologic disease, and indications for its use in the female pelvis are expected to continue evolving. It can aid in evaluation of nonvascular structures, such as assessment of tubal patency, uterine cavity morphology, and pelvic fistulas. CEUS can help characterize poorly vascularized gynecologic tumors or tissues with slow flow by using qualitative and quantitative parameters and aid in image-guided interventions or biopsies by facilitating visualization of lesions that are difficult to see with other imaging modalities. The authors provide an overview of current applications of US contrast agents in the female pelvis and discuss associated factors such as technique, interpretation, and image optimization. They also discuss the limitations of CEUS and describe its utility in the evaluation of female pelvic disease by using an organ system case-based approach. © RSNA, 2024 Test Your Knowledge questions for this article are available in the supplemental material.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiography
  • Contrast Media*
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pelvis
  • Ultrasonography / methods


  • Contrast Media