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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;31(3):355-7. doi: 10.1002/uog.5271.

Round ligament varices: sonographic appearance in pregnancy.

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Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-0628, USA.


Round ligament varices (RLV) are an important clinical entity as they may cause hernia-like symptoms in the absence of a true hernia. When this condition is diagnosed correctly, unnecessary intervention may be prevented. We aimed to determine the significance and anatomy of RLV in pregnancy and to review and describe their clinical and sonographic appearance. We followed prospectively five patients who presented during pregnancy with clinical symptoms suspicious of an inguinal hernia. All patients were diagnosed with RLV on ultrasound examination. All patients were managed conservatively and in all five cases, RLV resolved spontaneously postpartum. The diagnosis of RLV should be considered in pregnant women presenting with a groin mass. Sonography is diagnostic and can save unnecessary surgical exploration and associated morbidity.

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