Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Diagnostic Methods

First of all, in an infertility work-up, a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) should be done to either rule out or assess the presence of a two-chambered uterus, the depth of the division, as well as tubal patency. But an HSG alone cannot differentiate between septate and bicornuate uterus. Misdiagnoses of BU by HSG are very common.
Other methods have better levels of reliability:
  • Transvaginal ultrasound is nearly 100% successful in detecting a bifid uterus, but only 80% successful in differentiating between SU and BU. It can be a helpful tool in the diagnostic process, but should not be relied upon alone.
  • Three-dimensional ultrasound (3DUS), is 92% accurate in differentiation of BU from SU, according to one 1997 study, but not widely available at the time of this writing. It should not be relied upon alone, with an 8% margin of error.
  • MRI - According to two studies done in 1994 and 1995, MRI can reliably differentiate between BU from SU, with an accuracy of 100% in comparison with laparoscopy/hysteroscopy. More recent studies cast some doubt on this. Proceed with caution after an MRI.
  • Concurrent laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are considered the "gold standard” of BU/SU differentiation. This test is invasive, but if needed, corrective hysteroscopic metroplasty can be done at the same time.

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