Transabdominal color Doppler ultrasonography of the painful adolescent ovary

S. P. Quillin, M. J. Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine if color flow Doppler ultrasonography based on patterns of perfusion can aid in providing a specific diagnosis of ovarian masses associated with pelvic pain. Color flow Doppler images of 42 ovarian lesions in 42 adolescent girls (age range, 10 to 17 years) were analyzed prospectively. The color flow patterns were classified into three main categories: lesions with no vascularity; lesions with peripheral vascularity; and lesions with internal vascularity. The diagnoses included 22 hemorrhagic ovarian cysts, seven simple cysts, three cystadenomas, seven inflamed ovaries (five with microabscesses and two with dominant cystic abscesses), and three ovarian torsions. A peripheral pattern of flow was observed in 29 of 34 (85%) cystic lesions, including 18 hemorrhagic and six simple cysts, three cystadenomas and two abscesses. Peripheral flow was also identified in four enlarged ovaries, two with inflammatory disease and two with torsion. Internal flow was noted in five patients with enlarged ovaries due to inflammatory disease. Intraovarian flow was absent in three patients with torsion and in five of 34 cystic lesions. Internal ovarian flow was identified in 90% of normal ovaries. Resistive indices, obtained in 33 abnormal ovaries, were higher in cystic lesions than in inflammatory lesions, although the values overlapped. Our findings showed that internal ovarian flow can be found in inflammatory processes and normal ovaries, but the absence of flow also is nonspecific and can be found in a variety of ovarian cystic lesions as well as in torsion. This overlap limits the usefulness of color Doppler ultrasonography for differentiating cystic ovarian lesions associated with pain in adolescent girls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-555
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1994


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