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Imaging of hydrosalpinx with torsion following tubal sterilization.


Hydrosalpinx following tubal sterilization has been observed with increasing frequency. Women who have had PID or who have used IUDs might be at risk of developing this condition because they may already have occluded tubes from prior salpingitis. If a previously occluded tube is ligated or cauterized so that a second occlusion is created, hydrosalpinx may be anticipated. Often bilateral, hydrosalpinx may be present for years. Recurrent pelvic pain may signify intermittent noninfarctive torsion, but severe acute pain is a sign of torsion with impending infarction and gangrene in some patients. This condition has been detected by ultrasound and CT, enabling preoperative diagnosis. Presumably it will also be imaged by MR. Nontorsive hydrosalpinx is usually imaged as a thin-walled adnexal cyst. Torsion with infarction is seen as a larger cystic structure with thicker walls and internal debris from venous congestion and internal hemorrhage. Since 25 of 30 patients with post-tubal sterilization hydrosalpinx have presented with acute torsion, the significance of a nontorsive hydrosalpinx detected by any imaging modality should not be disregarded. Surgical removal or percutaneous puncture and drainage should be considered. Awareness of the patient's medical history is the key to diagnosis.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Noble Hospital, Westfield, MA 01086.


Seminars in ultrasound, CT, and MR 9:2 1988 Apr pg 175-82


Fallopian Tube Diseases
Middle Aged
Sterilization, Tubal
Tomography, X-Ray Computed
Torsion Abnormality

Pub Type(s)

Case Reports
Journal Article



PubMed ID