Ultrasonography (US) is frequently the first imaging modality used to examine women with symptoms involving the pelvis. It is widely available and involves no exposure to ionizing radiation. Images can be acquired with a transabdominal, endovaginal, or translabial approach, and the use of video clips and three-dimensional reconstructions can be helpful. US is excellent for assessment of the uterus, ovaries, and adnexa. Occasionally, nongynecologic pelvic diseases arising from the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and musculoskeletal systems and the pelvic peritoneal and extraperitoneal spaces may be detected and can be a source of diagnostic dilemma. US can be helpful not only in the detection but also occasionally in the characterization of such entities. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging are useful in complicated cases. In this article, the normal US appearance of the bowel and US signs of bowel disease and specific entities, including appendicitis, diverticular disease, bowel obstruction, appendiceal mucocele, and intestinal tumors, are reviewed. The lower urinary tract is included in the field of view in every pelvic US examination; commonly encountered entities related to the urinary bladder, distal ureter, and urethra are illustrated. In addition to arising in the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts, pathologic conditions in the pelvis can arise in the peritoneal or extraperitoneal space. Although conditions of the pelvic peritoneal and extraperitoneal spaces are rare, it is important to recognize these entities and distinguish them from the more common gynecologic diseases. Owing to the implications for diagnosis and management, radiologists and other physicians who perform pelvic US should be aware of the spectrum of nongynecologic pathologic entities that can be detected.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging