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N Engl J Med. 1997 Dec 18;337(25):1792-8.

Transvaginal ultrasonography compared with endometrial biopsy for the detection of endometrial disease. Postmenopausal Estrogen/Progestin Interventions Trial.

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1
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0978, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Transvaginal ultrasonography is a noninvasive procedure that may be used to detect endometrial disease. However, its usefulness in screening for asymptomatic disease in postmenopausal women before or during treatment with estrogen or estrogen-progesterone replacement is not known.

METHODS:

We compared the sensitivity and specificity of transvaginal ultrasonography and endometrial biopsy for the detection of endometrial disease in 448 postmenopausal women who received estrogen alone, cyclic or continuous estrogen-progesterone, or placebo for three years.

RESULTS:

Concurrent ultrasonographic and biopsy results were available for 577 examinations in the 448 women, 99 percent of whom were undergoing routine annual follow-up. Endometrial thickness was less than 5 mm in 45 percent of the examinations, 5 to 10 mm in 41 percent, more than 10 mm in 12 percent, and not measured in 2 percent, and it was higher in the women receiving estrogen alone than in the other groups. Biopsy detected 11 cases of serious disease: 1 case of adenocarcinoma, 2 cases of atypical simple hyperplasia, and 8 cases of complex hyperplasia. Biopsy also detected simple hyperplasia in 20 cases. At a threshold value of 5 mm for endometrial thickness, transvaginal ultrasonography had a positive predictive value of 9 percent for detecting any abnormality, with 90 percent sensitivity, 48 percent specificity, and a negative predictive value of 99 percent. With this threshold, a biopsy would be indicated in more than half the women, only 4 percent of whom had serious disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

Transvaginal ultrasonography has a poor positive predictive value but a high negative predictive value for detecting serious endometrial disease in asymptomatic postmenopausal women.

PMID:
9400035
DOI:
10.1056/NEJM199712183372502
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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