MRI in endometriosis

Author(s): Dr Piers Osborne, Dr Nishat Bharwani

Hospital: Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Reference: RAD Magazine, 43, 505, 19-22


Endometriosis is a common gynaecological condition affecting women of reproductive age, with some patients remaining asymptomatic while others suffer significant symptoms. The estimated prevalence varies between 2% and 10% within the general female population, although it may be as high as 50% in infertile women. It is defined as the presence of functional endometrial glands and stroma outside of the uterine cavity. This ectopic tissue responds to hormonal changes resulting in cyclical haemorrhage and pain, giving the disease its clinical features.

The ovary is the commonest site of endometriotic involvement, with endometriomas seen in 20-40% of cases. Involvement of the pelvic peritoneum by deposits invading greater than 5mm in depth is known as deep pelvic endometriosis (DPE).

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