Imaging for Polyps and Leiomyomas in Women With Abnormal Uterine Bleeding: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the accuracy of saline infusion sonohysterography in comparison with transvaginal ultrasonography for diagnosing polyps and submucosal leiomyomas in women with abnormal uterine bleeding.

DATA SOURCES:

We searched the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE, CENTRAL, and ClinicalTrials.gov as well as citations and reference lists to the end of November 2015.

METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION:

Two authors screened 5,347 citations for eligibility. We included randomized controlled trials or prospective cohort studies published in English, assessing the accuracy of saline infusion sonohysterography and transvaginal ultrasonography for diagnosing polyps and submucosal leiomyomas in women with abnormal uterine bleeding. We considered studies using histopathologic specimens obtained at either hysteroscopy or hysterectomy as criterion standard.

TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS:

Twenty-five studies were eligible. Two authors extracted data and assessed the quality of included studies. Bivariate random-effects models were used to compare the different tests and evaluate sources of heterogeneity. Saline infusion sonohysterography was superior to transvaginal ultrasonography with pooled sensitivity and specificity of 0.92 and 0.89 compared with 0.64 and 0.90, respectively (P<.001). Transvaginal ultrasound sensitivity for diagnosing polyps was particularly low (0.51). Saline infusion sonohysterography was also compared with hysteroscopy in seven studies and had similar sensitivity but inferior specificity (0.93 and 0.83 compared with 0.95 and 0.90, respectively, P=.007). All three procedures were well-tolerated by women. Saline infusion sonohysterography was successfully completed in 95% of women. Technical variations such as the use of balloon catheters were not found to affect diagnostic accuracy.

CONCLUSION:

Transvaginal ultrasonography lacks sensitivity to be used alone to exclude the presence of polyps and leiomyomas in women with abnormal uterine bleeding. Although less specific than hysteroscopy, saline infusion sonohysterography offers a similar detection rate and permits concomitant visualization of the ovaries and myometrium. Cost, convenience, and tolerability of different imaging techniques require further evaluation.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION:

PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews, http://www.crd.york.ac.uk/PROSPERO, CRD42016034005.

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