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J Ultrasound Med. 2004 Mar;23(3):371-4.

Role of sonography in the diagnosis of retained products of conception.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Edith Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Israel.



To present our experience with clinical and sonographic diagnosis of retained products of conception and to evaluate its correlation with histopathologic findings.


This was a retrospective study on 156 patients admitted for retained products of conception. Women were referred because of 1 or more of the following: abdominal pain, bleeding, and fever. The status of the cervix was evaluated by bimanual examination. The diagnosis of retained products of conception was made when a sonographic finding of hyperechoic or hypoechoic material was seen in any part of the uterine cavity or the presence of a thickened endometrial stripe greater than 8 mm and an irregular interface between the endometrium and myometrium was found. One hundred twenty-one women (77.6%) were admitted after dilation and curettage for abortion, and 35 (22.4%) were admitted after spontaneous labor.


Histopathologic reports confirmed the diagnosis of retained products of conception in 86 (71%) of 121 women in the postabortion group and in 17 (48.5%) of 35 women in the postpartum group. The overall false-positive rate for sonographic diagnosis was 34%. For women after abortion and after delivery, the false-positive rates were 28.9% and 51.5%, respectively.


Reliance on common signs and symptoms to diagnose retained products of conception as well as the use of sonography is associated with an unacceptably high false-positive rate, mainly after delivery. A more conservative approach to the treatment of retained products of conception is suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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