Indexed on: 16 Oct '12Published on: 16 Oct '12Published in: Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc
The müllerian ducts are paired embryologic structures that undergo fusion and resorption in utero to give rise to the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and upper two-thirds of the vagina. Interruption of normal development of the müllerian ducts can result in formation of müllerian duct anomalies (MDAs). MDAs are a broad and complex spectrum of abnormalities that are often associated with primary amenorrhea, infertility, obstetric complications, and endometriosis. MDAs are commonly associated with renal and other anomalies; thus, identification of both kidneys is important. However, MDAs are not associated with ovarian anomalies. Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is routinely used in evaluation of infertility. Because a key component of MDA characterization is the external uterine fundal contour, HSG is limited for this purpose. Patients suspected of having an MDA are often initially referred for pelvic ultrasonography (US). Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging is typically reserved for complex or indeterminate cases. MR imaging is the imaging standard of reference because it is noninvasive, does not involve ionizing radiation, has multiplanar capability, allows excellent soft-tissue characterization, and permits a greater field of interrogation than does US. Use of MR imaging for evaluation of MDAs reduces the number of invasive procedures and related costs by guiding management decisions.