Investigation of the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes using three-dimensional saline sonohysterosalpingography

R. S. Sankpal*, E. Confino, A. Matzel, L. S. Cohen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Objective: to compare three-dimensional saline sonohysterosalpingography (SHSG) to X-ray hysterosalpingography (HSG) for the evaluation of the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes. Patient population: Fifteen infertile women on whom X-ray HSG had been performed within 1 year prior to this study. Method: Fifteen infertile women underwent three-dimensional power Doppler examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes with three-dimensional SHSG during the follicular phase. Distension was achieved using sterile saline injected through a 5 French HSG catheter. Peritoneal accumulation of free fluid surrounding the ovary and tube was required for a diagnosis of a patent tube. Fluid accumulation in the cul-de-sac without visualization of the tubes was considered consistent with at least one tube being patent. Results: three-dimensional saline SHSG was completed in 14 patients. One patient had cervical stenosis and the procedure could not be performed. No significant intrauterine pathology was identified by either X-ray HSG or sonography. Three-dimensional saline SHSG made false positive diagnoses of tubal occlusion in four out of seven fallopian tubes (57%). The sensitivity and specificity for detecting tubal occlusion was 75 and 83%, respectively, with a positive predictive value of 40% and negative predictive value of 95%. Detection of fallopian tube architecture was not possible with three-dimensional saline SHSG in any patient. Simultaneous use of three-dimensional Doppler did not clearly identify the flow of saline through the fallopian tubes. Conclusions: transvaginal three-dimensional saline SHSG provides good visualization of the uterine cavity and myometrial walls in three orthogonal planes. However, it does not diagnose tubal occlusion or depict architecture of the fallopian tube as accurately as X-ray HSG. Although we were able to visualize the distal fallopian tube and fimbria with real-time imaging, we were not able to satisfactorily image the proximal tube with three-dimensional power Doppler. This technique may be reserved as an initial screening test to evaluate the uterine cavity and test patency. Patients at high risk for tubal disease by history or with suspected tubal occlusion on three-dimensional saline SHSG should be evaluated by either X-ray HSG or laparoscopy with chromopertubation. Further improvements of three-dimensional technology and contrast materials will, it is hoped, make this method comparable to X-ray HSG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Saline sonohysterosalpingography
  • Three-dimensional ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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