Send to

Choose Destination
Radiographics. 2016 Sep-Oct;36(5):1579-96. doi: 10.1148/rg.2016150202.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Multimodality Imaging Approach with Clinical-Pathologic Correlation.

Author information

From the Department of Diagnostic Radiology (M.V.R., M.M., H.B.D., M.S.) and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences (M.L.M.), Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St, PO Box 208042, Room TE-2, New Haven, CT 06520.


Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a common medical problem, with almost 1 million cases diagnosed annually. Historically, PID has been a clinical diagnosis supplemented with the findings from ultrasonography (US) or magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. However, the diagnosis of PID can be challenging because the clinical manifestations may mimic those of other pelvic and abdominal processes. Given the nonspecific clinical manifestations, computed tomography (CT) is commonly the first imaging examination performed. General CT findings of early- and late-stage PID include thickening of the uterosacral ligaments, pelvic fat stranding with obscuration of fascial planes, reactive lymphadenopathy, and pelvic free fluid. Recognition of these findings, as well as those seen with cervicitis, endometritis, acute salpingitis, oophoritis, pyosalpinx, hydrosalpinx, tubo-ovarian abscess, and pyometra, is crucial in allowing prompt and accurate diagnosis. Late complications of PID include tubal damage resulting in infertility and ectopic pregnancy, peritonitis caused by uterine and/or tubo-ovarian abscess rupture, development of peritoneal adhesions resulting in bowel obstruction and/or hydroureteronephrosis, right upper abdominal inflammation (Fitz-Hugh-Curtis syndrome), and septic thrombophlebitis. Recognition of these late manifestations at CT can also aid in proper patient management. At CT, careful assessment of common PID mimics, such as endometriosis, adnexal torsion, ruptured hemorrhagic ovarian cyst, adnexal neoplasms, appendicitis, and diverticulitis, is important to avoid misinterpretation, delay in management, and unnecessary surgery. Correlation with the findings from complementary imaging examinations, such as US and MR imaging, is useful for establishing a definitive diagnosis. (

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center