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J Ultrasound Med. 2000 Aug;19(8):519-27.

Air-contrast sonohysterography as a first step assessment of tubal patency.

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Women's Health Alliance, Nashville, Tennessee 37203-2131, USA.


We assessed the use of air as a sonographic contrast agent in the investigation of tubal patency by sonohysterography. We examined 115 women assessed for infertility. After saline sonohysterography, small amounts of air were insufflated, and the tubal passage of bubbles was monitored. In five patients (excluded from the results), cervical stenosis prevented the procedure. Ninety-one tubes (right side) and 86 tubes (left side) were definitively patent; 5 and 7, respectively, were probably patent; and 12 and 16, respectively, were nonvisualized. Nine patients had polyps, 3 had synechiae, and 2 had submucosal fibroids. None of the patients had infectious complications. Air-sonohysterography and laparoscopy with chromopertubation showed agreement in 79.4%. In 17.2% of patients, the tubes were considered nonvisualized by air-sonohysterography when they were patent. The sensitivity was 85.7% and specificity 77.2%. In conclusion, air-sonohysterography is a comfortable, simple, and inexpensive first line of tubal patency investigations yielding high accuracy.

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