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J Urol. 1998 Feb;159(2):408-10.

Detection of urethral diverticula in women: comparison of a high resolution fast spin echo technique with double balloon urethrography.

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Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.



We compared a rapid high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique to contrast urethrography for the detection of urethral diverticula in women.


During a 19-month interval 13 patients with clinically suspected urethral diverticula were evaluated with MRI and contrast urethrography. All patients were referred by a urologist, and had clinical signs and symptoms suggesting the presence of a urethral diverticulum. Double balloon urethrography was performed in 12 patients and voiding cystourethrography was done in 1. MRI was performed using a fast spin echo T2-weighted pulse sequence and a dedicated pelvic multicoil. Following a sagittal localizer sequence 3 mm. thick axial sections were obtained from the bladder base through the entire urethra. Total imaging time was 15 minutes.


In 7 patients MRI and urethrography were negative for urethral diverticula, and in 3 cystourethroscopy was negative. In 1 patient MRI revealed a vaginal inclusion cyst confirmed by surgery. Three patients had no other studies or procedures performed. In 6 patients MRI was positive for urethral diverticula, including 4 in whom the diverticulum was confirmed at surgery, 1 who declined surgery and 1 who was lost to followup. Of the 4 patients (75%) with a surgically confirmed diverticulum double balloon urethrogram was negative in 3.


MRI is a valuable noninvasive technique for determining the presence of urethral diverticula as well as detecting other abnormalities. In our study MRI had a higher sensitivity for detecting diverticula and a much higher negative predictive rate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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