Author(s): Liddle AD, Davies AH
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Abstract Chronic pelvic pain is a common and disabling condition affecting women of childbearing age. A specific diagnosis for the condition is often difficult, and referred pain from the abdominal viscera, neurogenic and psychogenic factors have all been implicated, as have pelvic conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and ovarian cysts; no diagnosis is made in 60\% of patients. Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS), the presence of varices of the pelvic veins, has been shown to be the underlying aetiology in a significant proportion of patients with chronic pelvic pain; the development of these varices is caused by a combination of endocrine and mechanical factors. Given the positional nature of these varices, they are rarely diagnosed with conventional methods such as B-mode ultrasound and diagnostic laparoscopy. Diagnosis is best made with selective ovarian venography, although newer, non-invasive methods such as magnetic resonance imaging and duplex ultrasound are increasingly gaining favour. Pelvic varices are eminently treatable, either using ovarian suppression or by the ligation or embolization of the pelvic veins.
This article was published in Phlebology
and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access