Prenatal sonographic and MRI findings in a pregnancy complicated by uterine sacculation: case report and review of the literature

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Abstract

Approximately 15% of women have a retroverted uterus prior to pregnancy, and retroversion occurs in 11% of women in the first trimester of pregnancy. However, the uterus usually moves to an upward position before 14 weeks' gestation. Incarceration and sacculation of a retroverted uterus occur in 1 in 3000 pregnancies and are difficult to diagnose. They have often been missed until shortly before delivery and can lead to serious obstetric emergencies such as labor dystocia, uterine rupture, retained placenta and uncontrollable postpartum hemorrhage. Performing a Cesarean section without correct diagnosis may cause difficulties in identifying the bladder and the cervix, and therefore in opening the lower uterine segment. This leads to bladder injuries, vaginal transsection and trans- or supracervical hysterectomy. Early diagnosis and detailed scanning are crucial for the obstetric management and operative approach.

We report a case of an incarcerated uterus in a patient presenting at 24 weeks' gestation with severe bilateral flank and lower abdominal pain. The symptoms were misdiagnosed as appendicitis. Digital examination revealed a ventralized vaginal axis. The cervix was not palpable. The clinical course, and two- and three-dimensional ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging findings, are presented. The delivery was performed by midline laparotomy Cesarean section. The management for different gestational ages and a review of the literature are discussed. Copyright © 2008 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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