Ruptured ovarian hemorrhagic cyst

Case contributed by Mohamed Saber


Acute left pelvic pain with signs of hypovolemic shock including tachycardia, hypotension, and fainting. History of previous left ovarian torsion that was salvageable at laparoscopy

Patient Data

Age: 25 years
Gender: Female

US study shows:

  • enlarged left ovary, preserved ovarian arterial and venous vascularity, a well-defined ovarian complicated cystic lesion (C) measures 40 x 33 mm with thick wall and internal trabeculations, the ovary is seen surrounded with an echogenic collection (H)
  • mild free collection in the Cul de sac
  • normal right ovary
  • normal uterus

CT study shows a dense collection surrounding the left ovary, density measures about 66 HU, suggesting clotted blood "sentinel clot sign"

The left ovary is mildly enlarged shows a well-defined ovoid small cystic lesion that measures 2.5x1.5x1.5 cm, elicits intermediate to high signal intensity in T1 and low signal in T2 with thick marginal enhancement in the post-contrast study. The ovary appears also enhanced. It is seen circumferentially surrounded with a collection that measures about 3.5x4x3 cm elicit intermediate to high signal intensity in T1 and low signal in T2 with no enhancement in the post-contrast study. Mild free collection is seen at the cul de sac



The first video shows the free blood collection in the pelvis and the second one shows the hematoma surrounding the left ovary and cystectomy for the ruptured hemorrhagic cyst

Case Discussion

Ruptured ovarian cysts and hemorrhagic ovarian cysts are the most common causes of acute pelvic pain in an afebrile, premenopausal woman presenting to the emergency room

The presence of sentinel dense blood clot (45-70 HU) is a helpful sign in CT to predict the source of bleeding "sentinel clot sign"

The following are the mean CT densities of fluid and blood

  • Fluid: 0-10 HU
  • Acute blood: 30-45 HU
  • Clotted blood: 45-70 HU
  • From 10-30 HU: may be seen in old blood or anemic patients

Ruptured ovarian hemorrhagic cysts are usually treated conservatively in the premenopausal woman unless evidence of hypovolemic shock

Additional contributors; Dr. Somia Elbadawy and Dr. Samar Fathy

Laparoscopic photos are courtesy of Dr.Amro Abdelhalim, the gynecological surgeon

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.