Pelvic ultrasound (transabdominal)

Background

Indications

  • To evaluate female reproductive organs in pediatric patients or those that are not sexually active or refuse transvaginal exam
  • For evaluation during later pregnancy

Technique

  • 3.5 MHz curvilinear probe
  • Start above pubic symphysis in longitudinal axis
  • Locate endometrial stripe (echogenic line) which represents the center of the uterus
  • Scan through longitudinal axis of uterus and sweep laterally to try to visualize ovaries (though often difficult to visualize on transabdominal ultrasound)
  • Rotate probe to transverse plane above pubic symphysis and scan through uterus from cervix to fundus
  • Scan hepatorenal recess to assess for free fluid

Findings

Images

Normal

Abnormal

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Best performed with full bladder to provide good window to view posterior structures and to move bowel gas out of view, however make sure to not confuse bladder with other cystic structures that may be present (ie. large ovarian cyst)

Documentation

Normal Exam

Abnormal Exam

Clips

External Links

See Also

References