Transvaginal sonography vs. clinical examination in the preoperative diagnosis of deep infiltrating endometriosis




The aim of this study was to compare the diagnostic performance of clinical vaginal examination with that of transvaginal sonography (TVS) in the presurgical diagnosis of deep infiltrating endometriosis.


One-hundred and fifty-five women with symptoms suggestive of endometriosis were included. One-hundred and twenty-nine patients met the inclusion criteria and were prospectively and independently assessed by vaginal examination and TVS prior to a diagnostic laparoscopy and, where appropriate, radical resection and histological confirmation of endometriosis was performed. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values (PPV), negative predictive values (NPV) and positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR+ and LR−) were calculated for each test method.


In total, 83 (64%) women had histological confirmation of endometriosis, 52 (40%) of whom had deep infiltrating endometriosis. The prevalence of endometriosis on the uterosacral ligaments, pouch of Douglas, vagina, bladder, rectovaginal space and rectosigmoid was 23.3%, 16.3%, 8.5%, 3.1%, 6.9% and 24%. PPV, NPV, LR+ and LR− for vaginal examination were 92%, 87%, 41.56 and 0.60 for ovarian endometriosis; 43%, 84%, 2.48 and 0.63 for uterosacral ligament disease; 64%, 95%, 9.14 and 0.26 for involvement of the pouch of Douglas; 80%, 97%, 42.91 and 0.28 for vaginal endometriosis; 78%, 98%, 46.67 and 0.23 for endometriosis of the rectovaginal space; 100%, 98%, 75.60 and 0.75 for bladder involvement; 86%, 84%, 18.97 and 0.63 for rectosigmoidal endometriosis. Values for TVS were similar with regard to vaginal and rectovaginal space endometriosis, but were clearly superior to vaginal examination in cases of ovarian (87%, 99%, 24.56 and 0.04), uterosacral ligament (91%, 90%, 31.35 and 0.37) and rectosigmoidal (97%, 97%, 88.51 and 0.1) endometriosis.


TVS is a more useful test than is vaginal examination in detecting endometriosis in the ovaries and rectosigmoid. Copyright © 2011 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.