The abdomen, when looking from in front, is divided into nine regions by imaginary planes (two vertical and two horizontal) forming abdominal surface anatomy. The nine regions are of clinical importance when examining and describing pathologies related to the abdomen. The horizontal planes are o...
Abnormally thickened endometrium on imaging may occur for a number of reasons which may be categorised based on whether or not they are related to pregnancy. Aetiologies may also be classified based on whether the patient is premenopausal or postmenopausal.
Abscesses are focal confined collections of suppurative inflammatory material and can be thought of as having three components 1:
central core comprised of necrotic inflammatory cells and local tissue
peripheral halo of viable neutrophils
surrounded by a 'capsule' with dilated blood vessels a...
Acute pelvic pain is a common presenting symptom to the emergency department and radiologist. Pelvic ultrasound with transabdominal and endovaginal approaches are usually the first line imaging modality.
pain of <3 months duration
Patients also often pre...
Adeno squamous cell (ASC) carcinoma of the cervix is a rare histological sub type of carcinoma of cervix.
It has components of both adenocarcinoma of cervix and squamous cell carcinoma of cervix.
An adenosquamous histology appears to be an independent predictor of poor ...
Adenocarcinoma of the endometrium is the commonest histological subtype of endometrial cancer and accounts for up to 90% of such cases 1.
Histological sub types
serous type adenocarcinoma of the endometrium
clear cell type adenocarcinoma of the endometrium
Adenocarcinoma of the cervix is a histological subtype of carcinoma of the cervix.
Cervical adenocarcinoma is less common than squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) of the cervix, accounting for ~12.5% of all cervical cancer. Their proportionate prevalence is thought to be increasing an...
Adenoma malignum of the cervix, also referred to as minimal deviation carcinoma / minimal deviation adenocarcinoma, is considered a rare variant of cervical carcinoma. It is thought to represent ~1-3% of all cervical adenocarcinomas.
It can present in a wide age group (~25-70 year...
Adenomatous endometrial hyperplasia is a type of endometrial hyperplasia.
The peak incidence is around 40-50 years of age.
Both endogenous and exogenous oestrogen exposure are considered important factors in its aetiology 1.
An adenomyoma is a focal region of adenomyosis resulting in a mass, which is difficult to distinguish from a uterine fibroid, although in general the degree to which the contour of the uterus is distorted is less marked in adenomyosis 2. Additionally, the 'mass' is poorly defined and blends with...
Adenomyosis of the uterus is a relatively common, benign uterine pathology. It is thought by many to be on the spectrum of endometriosis, with ectopic endometrial tissue in the myometrium. Adenomyosis may present with menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea. Ultrasound and MRI are imaging modalities that m...
An adenomyotic cyst is an extremely rare variation of cystic adenomyosis. The lesion consists of a large hemorrhagic cyst, which is partly or entirely surrounded by a solid wall. It can be entirely within the myometrium, submucosal, or subserosal and frequently is associated with symptoms of men...
Adenosquamous carcinoma of the endometrium is a rare histological sub type of endometrial cancer.
In general it occurs in a slightly younger group when compared with pure adenocarcinoma of the endometrium 4.
It contains both malignant glandular and malignant squamous components. Adenosquamous...
The term adnexal torsion refers to torsion of the pelvic adnexal structures. This can encompass ovarian torsion + / - tubal torsion.
Adult granulosa cell tumour of the ovary is a type of ovarian sex cord / stromal tumour. They are by far the most frequent subtype of granulosa cell tumours of the ovary (95%) and are commoner than the juvenile granulosa tumour of the ovary.
Approximately two-thirds of this subtyp...
The anatomy curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of articles that represent the core anatomy knowledge.
Head and neck anatomy
Abdominal and pelvic anatomy
Lower limb anatomy
Upper limb anato...
Androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), also known as the testicular feminisation syndrome, results from end-organ resistance to androgens, particularly testosterone. AIS may be complete or incomplete with variable imaging findings.
The incidence may vary dependent on whether it i...
Antral follicle count (AFC) or basal antral follicle count is a test done for checking a womens ovarian reserve.
A female is born with a liftieme supply of eggs and as she grows these eggs are developed. Post her puberty these follicles develop and are relased on a monthly basis. Wh...
An arcuate uterus is a mildly variant shape of the uterus. It is technically one of the Müllerian duct anomalies, but is often classified as a normal variant. It is the uterine anomaly that is least commonly associated with reproductive failure. Arcuate uterus can be characterised with ultrasoun...
Asherman syndrome, also known as uterine synechiae, is a condition characterised by the formation of intrauterine adhesions, which are usually sequela from injury to the endometrium, and is often associated with infertility.
There is a tendency for the condition to develop soon af...
Bartholin gland abscess is a complication that may result from an infected Bartholin gland cyst.
Abscesses are usually in a similar location to Bartholin gland cysts. Features of Bartholin gland abscess are otherwise similar to Bartholin gland cyst described in separate ...
Bartholin gland cysts are located in the postero-lateral inferior third of the vagina and are associated with the labia majora.
Most patients are asymptomatic 4.
Cysts form as a result of an obstruction of the gland's duct by a stone/ stenosis related to prio...
Bartholin gland tumours include:
squamous cell carcinoma of the Bartholin gland: tends to be the most common histological subtype
adenocarcinoma of the Bartholin gland
adenoid cystic carcinoma of the Bartholin gland
Benign metastasising leiomyoma (BML) is a rare metastatic phenomenon that is observed when a pelvic leiomyoma is present.
Women who have undergone hysterectomy for leiomyomas are most commonly affected.
Patients are usually asymptomatic at presentation. A h...
There are a number of benign metastasising tumours:
benign metastasising meningioma 1,2
benign metastasising leiomyoma 3
primary adenoma of thyroid 4
giant cell tumour of bone 5
A bicornuate uterus is a type of uterine duplication anomaly. It can be classified as a class IV Mullerian duct anomaly.
Overall, congenital uterine anomalies occur in ~1.5% of females (range 0.1-3%). Bicornuate uteri are thought to represent ~25% (range 10-39%) of Mullerian duct ...
Body packing refers to the internal concealment of drugs within the gastrointestinal tract or other orifices. People who do this may be called body packers, (drug) mules, stuffers, couriers or swallowers. Drugs may be concealed within condoms, foil, latex or cellophane.
There is ...
Borderline ovarian serous cystadenomas lie in the intermediate range in the spectrum of ovarian serous tumours and represent approximately 15% of all serous tumours.
They present at the younger age group 1-2 than the more malignant serous cystadenocarcinomas with a peak age of p...
Brenner tumours are an uncommon surface epithelial tumour of the ovary. It was originally known as a transitional cell tumour due to its histological similarity to the urothelium. Brenner tumours account for ~3% of ovarian epithelial neoplasms. They can very rarely can occur in other locations, ...
The bridging vessel sign refers to an appearance of vessels coursing from the uterus into an adjoining pelvic mass (a vascular bridge). This sign helps to differentiate a pedunculated subserosal uterine leiomyoma from other juxtauterine masses of ovarian, adnexal or bowel origin.
Colour and pow...
The broad ligament(s) are the lateral folds of the parietal peritoneum which reflect over the upper genital tract.
The broad ligament extends from the lateral aspect of the uterus to the lateral pelvic wall and can be divided into three main components - the mesosalpinx, mesovari...
A mnemonic for the contents of the broad ligament is:
B: bundle (ovarian neurovascular bundle)
R: round ligament
O: ovarian ligament
A: artefacts (vestigial structures)
D: duct (oviduct)
Broad ligament leiomyomas are leiomyomas that occur in relation to the broad ligament and are sometimes considered a variation in terms of location for a uterine leiomyoma.
While in most cases broad ligament leiomyomas are asymptomatic, patients may present pelvic pain or...
Serum CA-125 is well recognised as an ovarian cancer-associated marker and is an antigen determinant on a high-molecular-weight glycoprotein. The normal range of CA-125 is 0-35 U/mL.
Serum CA-125 levels can also be used to monitor the response to treatment as well as a prognostic indicator as t...
A simple mnemonic to recall a list of commonly calcifying metastases is:
B: breast cancer
T: papillary thyroid cancer
O: ovarian cancer (especially mucinous)
M: mucinous adenocarcinoma (especially colorectal carcinoma)
The canal of Nuck is an abnormal patent pouch of parietal peritoneum extending anteriorly to the round ligament of the uterus into the labia majora through the inguinal ring into the inguinal canal. Incomplete obliteration of this canal (patent processus vaginalis) can result in either an inguin...
Carcinoma of the cervix is a malignancy arising from the cervix and is considered the third most common gynaecologic malignancy (after endometrial and ovarian).
It typically presents in younger women with the average age of onset at around 45 years.
Carcinosarcomas are highly malignant biphasic tumours with both carcinomatous (epithelial) and sarcomatous (bone, cartilage, or skeletal muscle) components.
It can arise in many organs:
lung 5: pulmonary carcinosarcoma
oesophagus 1: oesophageal carcinosarcoma
genitourinary tract ...
A carcinosarcoma of the ovary is a rare type of mixed ovarian tumour with both epithelial and stromal components.
They are very rare and account for less than 1% of all ovarian cancers. Most women are post-menopausal at the time of presentation and usually between their 6th to 8th...
Red or carneous degeneration is one of five main types of degeneration that can involve a uterine leiomyoma. While it is an uncommon type of degeneration, it is thought to be the most common form of degeneration of a leiomyoma during pregnancy 3.
Patients with a leiomyoma...
Catamenial pneumothorax (CP) is a rare type of pneumothorax and is characterised by recurrent accumulation of air in the thoracic space related to menstruation.
It may represent up to one-third of women with spontaneous pneumothoraces 1. Patient history may or may not be positive ...
Staging of cervical cancer can either be based on the TNM or FIGO system.
Revised FIGO staging of cervical carcinoma 2009 8
stage 0: cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HSIL or CIN III)
stage I: confined to cervix
stage Ia: invasive carcinoma only diagnosed by microscopy.
Ia1: stromal inva...
Cervical incompetence refers to a painless spontaneous dilatation of the cervix, and is a common cause of 2nd trimester pregnancy failure.
The estimated incidence varies geographically and generally thought to be around 1-1.5% of all pregnancies 1,15.
In obsteric and gynaecological imaging, the cervical length (CL) is defined as the length between the internal cervical os and the external cervical os.
the cervical length is most accurately assessed on a transvaginal scan with an empty bladder
in a normal...
Cervical plicae palmatae are normal folds seen on the anterior and posterior wall of the cervical canal. They are often described as longitudinal ridges or oblique elevation.
Sometimes, they are identified on MRI, and one must make sure not to misinterpret this finding as abnormal. Studies repo...
Cervical polyps are polypoid growths projecting into the cervical canal. They can be one of the most common causes of intermenstrual vaginal bleeding.
Most patients are perimenopausal at the time of presentation, especially in the 5th decade of life. They are the most common mass...
The term cervical stenosis can refer to:
stenosis of the uterine cervix
bony cervical canal stenosis (cervical spinal stenosis)
The cervix is the lower constricted segment of the uterus. It is somewhat conical in shape, with its truncated apex directed downward and backward, but is slightly wider in the middle than either above or below. Owing to its relationships, it is less freely movable than the uterine body, so that...
Cesarean section scar diverticulums are a defect in the lower uterine cavity at the site of the cesarean section scar.
in a study was found to be the only finding in patients with bleeding disturbances
Choriocarcinoma is an aggressive highly vascular tumour. When it is associated with gestation, it is often considered part of the spectrum of gestational trophoblastic disease. It is then termed a gestational choriocarcinoma. When it occurs in the absence of preceding gestation, it is termed a n...
The staging system for choriocarcinoma (usually refers to uterine choriocarcinoma) is the FIGO staging system and is as follows 1:
stage I: disease limited to the uterus
stage II: disease out of the uterus but limited to the female genital tract
stage III: metastasis in the lung with or with...
There are many signs in radiology that are related to Christmas:
snowcap sign in avascular necrosis
in total anomalous pulmonary venous return
in pituitary macroadenomas
snowstorm appearance in complete hydatidiform and testicular microlithiasis
holly leaf sign in calcified pl...
Chronic pelvic pain is a common presenting symptom to primary care physicians and to radiologists. Pelvic ultrasound with transabdominal and endovaginal approaches are usually the first line imaging modality. MRI may be performed afterwards.
pain of >6 mo...
The claw sign is useful in determining whether a mass arises from a solid structure or is located adjacent to it and distorts the outline.
It refers to the sharp angles on either side of the mass, which the surrounding normal parenchyma forms when the mass has arisen from the parenchyma. As su...
Clear cell carcinoma of the cervix (CCCC) is a rare adenocarcinoma subtype of cervical cancer.
Due to association with diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure in some patients, this subtype may have a younger age at presentation than other histological subtypes. This subtype can sometim...
Clear cell carcinoma (CCC) of the endometrium is an uncommon histological subtype of endometrial cancer. It only accounts for 1-5.5% of all endometrial carcinomas, and it is often associated with an aggressive clinical behaviour and a poorer outcome 4-5. Only occasional case reports have describ...
Clear cell carcinoma of the ovary is a type of malignant ovarian epithelial tumour.
They represent ~2-5% of all ovarian carcinomas and ~3.7%-12% of epithelial ovarian neoplasms. The mean age at presentation is ~10 years younger than for other ovarian epithelial tumours (peaks ~55 ...
Coexistent molar pregnancy refers to an extremely rare situation where there is a molar pregnancy occurring simultaneously with normal intra-uterine pregnancy
The estimated incidence is at ~1:10,000-100,000 gestations (for a complete hydatidiform mole and a normal pregnancy) 2.
The Cogwheel sign in pelvic imaging refers to an imaging appearance of thickening loops of the Fallopian tube seen on cross section. There are infolding projections (sometimes look like nodules) into the Fallopian tube lumen which is likened to that of a cogwheel. The sign is typically describe...
A collision tumour of the ovary is an uncommon ovarian neoplasm where there is co-existence of two adjacent but histologically distinct tumours with no histologic admixture at the interface.
The exact pathogenesis is not well known. They are most commonly composed of ovarian teratoma...
Colovaginal fistula is one form of genitourinary fistula. It is also sometimes classed under a type of gastro-intestinal fistula.
It refers to a communication between the colon (practically the rectum or sigmoid colon) with the vagina.
At times, specific terms are used dependent on ...
There are many classification systems for congenital utero-vaginal anomalies. These include:
Buttram and Gibbons classification 2
American Fertility Society (AFS) classification
Modified Rock and Adam - AFS classification
Modified Rock and Adam - AFS classification
This classification divid...
The corpus albicans is a fibrous scar that results from the involution of the corpus luteum if fertilisation does not occur. When seen on ultrasound, it is a small, lobulated echogenic intra-ovarian lesion.
History and etymology
It is Latin for "whitening body", after the white appearance of ...
Corpus luteal (CL) cysts are a type of functional ovarian cyst that result when a corpus luteum fails to regress following the release of an ovum. When associated with pregnancy, it is the most common pelvic mass encountered within the 1st trimester. There is also some overlap with the term "hae...
The corpus luteum is a temporary endocrine structure involved in ovulation and early pregnancy.
During ovulation, the primary follicle forms the secondary follicle and subsequently the mature vesicular follicle.
At ovulation the follicle ruptures expelling the ovum into the fallopian tube.
Cumulus oophorus refers to an appearance in the ovary in which multiple granulosa cells enlarge around a developing oocyte. These support cells ("cumulus cells") serve multiple functions in the maturation of the oocyte They may occasionally be seen during a pelvic ultrasound, and should not be ...
Cystic adenomyosis is a rare variant of adenomyosis and is believed to the result of repeated focal haemorrhages resulting in cystic spaces filled with altered blood products.
MRI is the most sensitive and specific imaging modality for this diagnosis and will demonst...
Cystic degeneration is an uncommon type of degeneration that a uterine leiomyoma can undergo.
This type of degeneration is thought to represent ~4% of all types of degeneration.
When the leiomyomas increase in size, the vascular supply to it becomes adequat...
Cystic endometrial atrophy is a benign process that can occur as part of Tamoxifen associated endometrial changes.
It is diagnosed histologically when multiple cystic spaces (dilated glands) lined with atrophic epithelium are present within a dense fibrous stroma.
Cystic endometrial hyperplasia is the most common as well as the most benign form of endometrial hyperplasia.
Typically shows endometrial thickening with associated cysts.
For imaging appearences consider:
prolonged proliferative phas...
A cystic retroperitoneal lesion can carry a relatively broad differenital which includes:
retroperitoneal cystic lymphangioma
retroperitoneal mucinous cystadenoma
retroperitoneal cystic teratoma
retroperitoenal cystic mesothelioma
pseudomyxoma retroperitonei with cystic change
The deep perineal pouch is an anatomic space above the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle of the perineum, posterior to the transverse line between the ischial tuberosities.
The deep perineal pouch is above (deep to) the perineal membrane in the urogenital triangle.
The deepest (maximal) vertical pocket (DVP) depth is considered a reliable method for assessing amniotic fluid volume on ultrasound 1-2. It is performed by assessing a pocket of maximal depth of amniotic fluid which is free of umbilical cord and fetal parts.
The usually accepted values are:
The cul-de-sac, also known as pouch of Douglas or rectouterine pouch, is an extension of postero-inferior reflection of peritoneal fold between uterus (anteriorly) and rectum (posteriorly), and is being the most inferior aspect of the peritoneal cavity it is the earliest location for free fluid ...
Diffuse/disseminated peritoneal leiomyomatosis (DPL), also known as leiomyomatosis peritonealis disseminata, is an exceedingly rare benign disorder characterised by multiple vascular leiomyomas growing along the submesothelial tissues of the abdominopelvic peritoneum.
DPL is usual...
Diffuse uterine adenomyosis is the most common of uterine adenomyosis. For the discussion of adenomyosis, please refer to the parent article - adenomyosis of the uterus.
Diffuse adenomyosis may account for ~2/3rd of uterine adenomyosis.
Diffuse adenomyosis can be even ...
Diffuse uterine leiomyomatosis is a benign and extremely rare condition in which the uterus is symmetrically enlarged as a result of the almost complete replacement of the myometrium by innumerable poorly defined, confluent leiomyomatous nodules.
Initial symptoms of the ...
Disorder of gender development refers to the spectrum of rare congenital conditions in where there is an atypical development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomic sex.
They can be classified broadly into four categories on the basis of gonadal histologic features which include:
A dominant ovarian follicle refers to the follicle that enlarges to release an ovum during a menstural cycle. Usually approximately 10 Graafian follicles begin to mature where one becomes a dominant follicle and the rest become atretic ovarian follicles. After release of the ovum the remainder o...
The dot-dash pattern (dermoid mesh) is one of the characteristic sonographic appearances of an ovarian dermoid cyst. It refers to the short and long echogenic lines which are often seen within a dermoid cyst and are due to the presence of hair.
A dysgerminoma refers to class of tumour with germ cell origin
This can refer to
germ cell tumours
Ectopic pregnancy refers to the implantation of a fertilised ovum outside of the uterine cavity.
The overall incidence has increased over the last few decades and is currently thought to affect 1-2% of pregnancies. The risk is as high as 18% for first trimester pregnancies with bl...
An embedded intrauterine contraceptive device is a situation where there is a an abnormally positioned IUCD within the endometrium or myometrium; however without an extension through the serosa. The IUCD should be removed in this situation. An IUCD can become embedded in the wall of the uterus o...
Atrophy of the endometrium is often a physiological postmenopausal phenomenon where it is more specifically termed postmenopausal endometrial atrophy.
While most patients are asymptomatic, it is one of the commonest cause of postmenopausal bleeding, accounting for approx...
Endometrial carcinoma is generally considered the most common gynaecological malignancy 1,5. It frequently presents with vaginal bleeding and both ultrasound and pelvic MRI are useful modalities for evaluation.
Incidence peaks at around the 6th decade, though 12% of cases present ...
Endometrial carcinoma staging allows appropriate treatment options to be considered and enables greater prognostic accuracy for endometrial carcinoma.
Staging can be based on the TNM or FIGO system.
MR imaging is the modality of choice for staging with CT having relatively low speci...
Fluid in the endometrial cavity can result from a number of causes if excessive and associated with distension.
There are essentially three types of fluid:
hydrometra: simple fluid
haematometra: haemorrhagic content / clot
normal (i.e. physiological...
Endometrial hyperplasia (EH) refers to an increased proliferation of the endometrial glands relative to the stroma. One of the main concerns is the potential malignant transformation of the endometrial hyperplasia to the endometrial carcinoma.
It affects women of all age groups 12...
Endometrial microcalcifications can arise from a vast range pathologies but are usually of benign in aetiology.
They have an increased incidence with older age, postmenopausal state, atrophic endometrium, and endometrial polyps.
They are typica...
Endometrial polyps are benign nodular protrusions of the endometrial surface, and one of the entities included in a differential of endometrial thickening. Endometrial polyps can either be sessile or pedunculated. They can often be suggested on ultrasound or MRI studies, but may require sonohyst...
Getting a film with endometrial polyp in the exam is one of the many exam set-pieces that can be prepared for.
Transabdominal and transvaginal pelvic ultrasound images in a lady with post-menopausal bleeding show an anteverted uterus with focal increased endometrial thickness to 1...
Endometrial reflectivity grading on ultrasound is a system initially proposed by Smith et al in 1984 which classifies the endometrium into four types according to the echotexture pattern. They are considered to be useful in deciding on receptivity in in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The Smith syst...
Endometrial stromal tumours (EST) are an uncommon group of tumours arising from endometrial stromal cells. It accounts for <2% of all uterine malignancies and 10% of all uterine sarcomas.
Half occur in premenopausal women, with most patients presenting in the 5th decade.