Uterine adnexal torsion: pathologic and gray-scale ultrasonographic findings

M Varras, A Tsikini, D Polyzos, Ch Samara, G Hadjopoulos, Ch Akrivis
Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics & Gynecology 2004, 31 (1): 34-8

INTRODUCTION: Uterine adnexal torsion is a rare and potentially lethal condition that may arise most unexpectedly in women of any age. It may be partial or complete, the later often resulting in necrosis, gangrene and peritonitis if untreated. The purpose of the study was to determine the spectrum of the histologic and gray-scale sonographic pictures in a series of surgically proven cases of uterine adnexal torsion.

METHODS: The study population for the pathologic analysis of twisted uterine adnexa included 92 patients with surgical confirmation of torsion of the uterine adnexa; all the patients were treated radically. All the pathology records were reviewed retrospectively over a 10-year period (from 1992 to 2002) by the coding of ovarian, fallopian tube or adnexal torsion. The gray-scale sonographic findings were analysed in 20 patients who underwent sonographic examination before surgery and adnexal torsion was confirmed at surgery.

RESULTS: Neoplasms constituted 46% (42/92) and cysts formed 48% (44/92) of all the twisted uterine adnexa. Normal-sized twisted adnexa were found in five patients (5%) while in one patient simultaneous torsion of both normal fallopian tubes was found (1%). The prevalence of the twisted neoplasms was 16 mature teratomas, nine serous cystadenomas, five mucinous cystadenomas, three serous borderline carcinomas, two fibroma/thecomas, two mucinous borderline carcinomas, two malignant granulosal-stromal cell tumours, one malignant dysgerminoma, one immature teratoma and one clear cell adenocarcinoma. The twisted cysts were 18 serous cysts, 11 paraovarian cysts, nine corpus luteum cysts, three hydrosalpinges, one mucinous cyst and one endometrioma. In one case the torsion of the right ovary was due to hyperstimulation of the ovaries with gonadotropin therapy for IVF treatment. Gray-scale sonographic examination demonstrated cystic lesions in 80% (16/20), solid masses in 5% (1/20) and normal adnexa in 15%; cul-de-sac fluid was present in 55% (11/20). Laparotomy revealed reactive cul-de-sac fluid in ten of these cases (50%) and haemoperitoneum in one (5%).

CONCLUSION: Adnexal torsion is most commonly associated with benign processes (89%) and usually occurs in patients under 50 years old (80%). The spectrum of sonographic findings varies due to the adnexal pathology, the degree and the duration of adnexal torsion.

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