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Keywords:

  • adnexa;
  • diagnosis;
  • Doppler;
  • torsion

Abstract

Objective

To propose, in cases with coiling of the ovarian vessels, a classification of severity of torsion based on Doppler and gray-scale ultrasound findings and to suggest a treatment strategy for each situation.

Methods

Seventeen patients were examined in a gynecological emergency room between December 1995 and February 2003 due to suspected adnexal torsion. Doppler and gray-scale ultrasound were used to visualize coiling of the ovarian blood vessels. Intraovarian flow was assessed by spectral Doppler and on this basis, along with the patient's clinical condition, the decision was made as to whether surgery was necessary. Findings on surgery were recorded.

Results

All 17 patients showed coiling of the ovarian vessels. Nine had arterial and venous blood flow within the ovary and ultrasound and surgical findings usually demonstrated normal sized or mildly enlarged ovaries. Five had only arterial blood flow within the ovary and surgery usually revealed enlarged ovaries with normal color or mild discoloration. Three had neither arterial nor venous blood flow within the ovary, with vessel coiling evident only on gray-scale and not on Doppler examination, and surgical findings included signs of ovarian ischemia or necrosis.

Conclusion

In cases of coiling of the ovarian vessels, Doppler flow analysis of the ovary can help differentiate between ischemic adnexal torsion and coiling of the ovarian blood vessels without strangulation, aiding in the choice of treatment. According to type of blood flow seen on Doppler examination, we suggest the following classification of severity of adnexal torsion and treatment strategy: Class 1, coiling with arterial and venous ovarian blood flow; a conservative approach may be considered if the clinical condition permits; Class 2, coiling with arterial ovarian flow but no venous flow; surgical intervention is required; and Class 3, true strangulation, with no ovarian blood flow; urgent surgical intervention is required. Copyright © 2009 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.