Hysterosalpingography in the diagnosis of pelvic endometriosis.

H Coimbra, H S Pereira, F C Real, M G Sampaio, R Lagarto, F Falcão, A A Santos


Endometriosis is a common cause of chronic pelvic pain. Laparoscopy is considered the gold standard for definitive diagnosis. This work aims to evaluate whether hysterosalpingography (14SG), a cheaper and more accessible examination, is worth while as a diagnostic tool in this pathology. Thirty patients submitted to laparoscopy for chronic pelvic pain where retrospectively studied. Three different observers evaluated their hysterosalpingographies. The imaging diagnoses were classified as suggestive or not suggestive of external pelvic endometriosis. With laparoscopy, 18 patients had endometriosis, 11 with mild lesions by Acosta classification. Compared to laparoscopy, HSG diagnosis, when made by at least two observers, revealed a sensitivity of 55.5%, a specificity of 75%, a positive predictive value of 77%, and a negative predictive value of 53%. In the presence of clinical pathologic uterosacral--US ligaments and/or sterility, the specificity of HSG may be 100%, but the sensitivity falls below the 40%. We concluded that in a population with chronic pelvic pain, HSG is not a first choice diagnostic tool. This examination only permits the identification of 1/3 of the patients with external endometriosis, being unable to exclude its presence. However, it may be useful in patients with infiltrative endometriosis of the US ligaments.

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