Expert opinion on the use of transvaginal sonography for presurgical staging and classification of endometriosis

J. Keckstein*, M. Hoopmann, E. Merz, D. Grab, J. Weichert, S. Helmy-Bader, M. Wölfler, M. Bajka, S. Mechsner, S. Schäfer, H. Krentel, G. Hudelist

*Corresponding author for this work
12 Citations (Scopus)


Gynecological ultrasonography plays a central role in the management of endometriosis. The rapid technical development as well as the currently increasing evidence for non-invasive diagnostic methods require an updated compilation of recommendations for the use of ultrasound in the management of endometriosis. The present work aims to highlight the accuracy of sonography for diagnosing and classifying endometriosis and will formulate the present list of key messages and recommendations. This paper aims to demonstrate the accuracy of TVS in the diagnosis and classification of endometriosis and to discuss the clinical applications and consequences of TVS findings for indication, surgical planning and assessment of associated risk factors. (1) Sophisticated ultrasound is the primary imaging modality recommended for suspected endometriosis. The examination procedure should be performed according to the IDEA Consensus. (2) Surgical intervention to confirm the diagnosis alone is not recommended. A preoperative imaging procedure with TVS and/or MRI is strongly recommended. (3) Ultrasound examination does not allow the definitive exclusion of endometriosis. (4) The examination is primarily transvaginal and should always be combined with a speculum and a bimanual examination. (5) Additional transabdominal ultrasonography may enhance the accuracy of the examination in case of extra pelvic disease, extensive findings or limited transvaginal access. (6) Sonographic assessment of both kidneys is mandatory when deep endometriosis (DE) and endometrioma are suspected. (7) Endometriomas are well defined by sonographic criteria. When evaluating the ovaries, the use of IOTA criteria is recommended. (8) The description of sonographic findings of deep endometriosis should be systematically recorded and performed using IDEA terminology. (9) Adenomyosis uteri has sonographically well-defined criteria (MUSA) that allow for detection with high sensitivity and specificity. MRI is not superior to differentiated skilled ultrasonography. (10) Classification of the extent of findings should be done according to the #Enzian classification. The current data situation proves the best possible prediction of the intraoperative situs of endometriosis (exclusive peritoneum) for the non-invasive application of the #Enzian classification. (11) Transvaginal sonographic examination by an experienced examiner is not inferior to MRI diagnostics regarding sensitivity and specificity in the prediction of the extent of deep endometriosis. (12) The major advantage of non-invasive imaging and classification of endometriosis is the differentiated planning or possible avoidance of surgical interventions. The recommendations represent the opinion of experts in the field of non-invasive and invasive diagnostics as well as therapy of endometriosis. They were developed with the participation of the following national and international societies: DEGUM, ÖGUM, SGUM, SEF, AGEM/DGGG, and EEL.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)5-19
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 01.2023

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-21 Gynaecology and Obstetrics

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