Beyond the boundaries-endometriosis: typical and atypical locations.

Current problems in diagnostic radiology

PubMedID: 21939816

Sonavane SK, Kantawala KP, Menias CO. Beyond the boundaries-endometriosis: typical and atypical locations. Curr Probl Diagn Radiol. 2011;40(6):219-32.
Endometriosis is characterized by the presence of endometrial glands and stroma in an ectopic location outside the endometrial cavity. This condition affects women during their reproductive years. Ovaries are by far the commonest location of endometriosis and have peculiar imaging features. However, the imaging diagnosis of extraovarian endometriosis is difficult to make both clinically and radiologically. The purpose of this article is to review the imaging features of endometriosis at typical and atypical sites on different modalities and to describe the commonly encountered complications. Atypical sites for endometriosis include the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, soft tissues, and chest. Depending on the site, they can present with varied symptoms, including bowel obstruction, melena, hematuria, dysuria, dyspnea, and swelling in the soft tissues, respectively. The endometriotic implant in the extraovarian location is a challenging diagnosis. It is important to be aware of the sites, radiologic appearances, and complications of ovarian and extraovarian endometriosis while evaluating a woman in the reproductive age group with appropriate symptomatology. Endometriosis at extraovarian locations is a challenging diagnosis clinically and radiologically. Clinical symptomatology with characteristic imaging features in the appropriate patient population is helpful in reaching the diagnosis. Precise diagnosis regarding presence, location, and extent of endometriosis is useful for preoperative evaluation and surgical planning of endometriosis.