World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine Review Paper: Incidental findings during obstetrical ultrasound

Stamatios Petousis, Christos Chatzakis, Susan Campbell Westerway, Jacques S. Abramowicz, Konstantinos Dinas, Yi Dong, Christoph F. Dietrich, Alexandros Sotiriadis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Although the prevalence of incidental findings revealed during an obstetric ultrasound examination is low, the findings may include adnexal and cervical masses, uterine or urinary congenital malformations, free fluid in the pouch of Douglas or tortuous vessels (varices). Adnexal masses are the most common finding and vary in imaging characteristics. They are mainly unilateral, cystic masses with a low risk of malignancy that are treated conservatively. The International Ovarian Tumor Analysis scoring models may be helpful in differentiating benign from malignant masses. For those masses >5 cm, follow-up is recommended, and resection could be considered to avoid risk of torsion, rupture and hemorrhage, which may compromise pregnancy outcome. Uterine masses such as fibroids are commonly diagnosed early in the first trimester and should be followed up during pregnancy to evaluate any changes. Transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound is the first-line test for the diagnosis of such incidentalomas; however, magnetic resonance ultrasound may have a useful role in excluding malignancy potential. As a result of their low frequency and the lack of good evidence, there are no specific guidelines on the management of incidentalomas detected at obstetric scans. Their management should follow the related general guidelines for ovarian, cervical and uterine masses, with individualized management depending on the pregnancy status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
Early online date23 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2022


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