Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound Imaging of Uterine Disorders: A Systematic Review

Barbara Stoelinga, Lynda Juffermans, Anniek Dooper, Marleen de Lange, Wouter Hehenkamp, Thierry van den Bosch, Judith Huirne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Uterine disorders are often presented with overlapping symptoms. The microvasculature holds specific information important for diagnosing uterine disorders. Conventional sonography is an established diagnostic technique in gynecology, but is limited by its inability to image the microvasculature. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS), is capable of imaging the microvasculature by means of intravascular contrast agents; that is, gas-filled microbubbles. We provide a literature overview on the use of CEUS in diagnosing myometrial and endometrial disorders, that is, fibroids, adenomyosis, leiomyosarcomas and endometrial carcinomas, as well as for monitoring and enhancing the effectiveness of minimally invasive therapies. A systematic literature search with quality assessment was performed until December 2020. In total 34 studies were included, published between 2007 and 2020.The results entail a description of contrast-enhancement patterns obtained from healthy tissue and from malignant and benign tissue; providing a first base for potential diagnostic differentiation in gynecology. In addition it is also possible to determine the degree of myometrial invasion in case of endometrial carcinoma using CEUS. The effectiveness of minimally invasive therapies for uterine disorders can safely and accurately be assessed with CEUS. In conclusion, the abovementioned applications of CEUS are promising and it is worth further exploring its full potential for gynecology by designing innovative and methodologically high-quality clinical studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-252
Number of pages14
JournalUltrasonic Imaging
Issue number5
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • contrast-enhanced ultrasound
  • imaging
  • microvasculature
  • systematic review
  • uterine disorders

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