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Radiology. 2005 Apr;235(1):124-31. Epub 2005 Feb 24.

Dysmenorrhea: evaluation with cine-mode-display MR imaging--initial experience.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Shogoinkawaharacho 54, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8507, Japan.



To prospectively evaluate uterine contractility during menstruation and its relation to primary dysmenorrhea by using magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with cine mode display.


The university ethics committee approved the study protocol, and all subjects gave written informed consent. Nineteen healthy women were examined during menstrual cycle days 1-3 by using a 1.5-T-magnet unit. Sixty serial half-Fourier rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement MR images of the uterus were obtained every 3 seconds for 3 minutes and displayed in cine mode. MR images were analyzed in terms of thickness of the inner low-signal-intensity myometrial layer, presence of endometrial distortion, and uterine peristalsis detectability. Pain was assessed by using a four-point scale. For 56 MR imaging cases, the association between MR imaging findings and pain degree was examined with Spearman correlation and Mann-Whitney tests. MR imaging findings in the dysmenorrheic and eumenorrheic subject groups were compared by using Mann-Whitney and chi(2) tests. The area of the uterine myometrium in both groups was calculated for quantitative assessment of uterine contraction and was compared between the groups by using the Student t test.


MR imaging findings revealed marked changes during cycle days 1-3. Thickness of the inner low-signal-intensity myometrial layer and endometrial distortion were significantly associated with pain degree (P < .001), while uterine peristalsis was undetectable when pain was severe or moderate. The area of the uterine myometrium significantly decreased during cycle days 1-3 in the dysmenorrheic group, as compared with that in the eumenorrheic group (P = .010).


MR imaging features of the uterus on cycle days 1-3 correlated with pain degree. Cine-mode-display MR imaging is a potential tool for evaluating dysmenorrhea.

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