Use of hysteroscopy in diagnosis and follow-up of acquired uterine enhanced myometrial vascularity

Uterine enhanced myometrial vascularity, when not recognized by ultrasound, may be diagnosed by intrauterine arterial pulsations on hysteroscopy. Symptomatic patients may require embolization and follow- up with office hysteroscopy is a feasible decision.

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Volume 113, Issue 2, Pages 460–462

Authors:

Julian A. Gingold, M.D., Ph.D., Linda D. Bradley, M.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To describe the role of hysteroscopy in diagnosis and subsequent follow-up of uterine enhanced myometrial vascularity (EMV). Uterine EMV, previously known as arteriovenous malformation (AVM), is a rare but cannot-miss finding often associated with prior pregnancy or uterine surgery and is typically suspected when a vascular mass is found on ultrasound. Color Doppler imaging will demonstrate high-velocity, low-impedance flow, with more significant shunts demonstrating higher peak systolic velocity (PSV). If not already diagnosed by ultrasound, accurate recognition during hysteroscopy is mandatory prior to any uterine instrumentation, as biopsy or curettage can lead to unanticipated massive hemorrhage. While many cases of EMV may resolve spontaneously, actively bleeding patients may require treatment with embolization, a procedure that may decrease ovarian reserve and impair fertility, though favorable reproductive outcomes have been reported. Others have reported success with hysteroscopic management using a bipolar electrosurgical loop.

Design

Case report.

Setting

Academic hospital system.

Patient(s)

We describe a 22-year-old G2P1011 who presented to the emergency department with heavy vaginal bleeding and a negative urine human chorionic gonadotropin 9 weeks following a first-trimester termination of pregnancy. Her ultrasound demonstrated a heterogeneous 2.6×2.3×2.6 cm vascular mass in the endometrial canal that was initially interpreted as retained products of conception. Unfortunately, PSV in the lesion was not measured. During observation, bleeding continued, and her hemoglobin dropped from 8.3 g/dL to 6.9 g/dL the next morning. She was transfused 2 units of blood and taken to the operating room for hysteroscopic evaluation and possible uterine curettage.

Intervention(s)

Hysteroscopy revealed a large pulsating 2cm bluish vascular mass that was recognized as a uterine EMV and the procedure was terminated with the plan for embolization. Given fertility concerns, the diagnosis was confirmed with MRI/MRA, which identified a 2.7cm mass-like process with early post-contrast enhancement in the arterial phase. An angiogram demonstrated bilaterally enlarged tortuous uterine arteries perfusing a hypervascular EMV that was treated with selective bilateral uterine artery embolization.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Further bleeding or evidence of EMV.

Result(s)

Follow-up office hysteroscopy at 2 weeks demonstrated a 2 cm raised area of tissue without pulsations. At 6 weeks post-procedure, bleeding had ceased, and office hysteroscopy revealed only a small 0.5 cm calcified nodule with a circumferential pseudo-decidual reaction.

Conclusion(s)

Hysteroscopy may be used to diagnose EMV when ultrasound is not conclusive. Recognition of the pulsating vascular appearance of EMV on hysteroscopy is critical in preventing hemorrhage from inappropriate curettage. Resolution of the lesion following embolization can be readily demonstrated with office hysteroscopy.


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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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