In the August issue of OBG Management, NYU's Dr.Steven R. Goldstein penned an article suggesting that we stop relying on the standard 2D ultrasound for localizing an IUD. The reason: that 3D or volume ultrasound allows visualization of planes, specifically a coronal plane, not often seen on the standard sonogram. Why is this important? Read on.
Dr. Goldstein's article demonstrates several images from studies in which the IUD's location doesn't look unusual on the 2D image. However, in the coronal plane of 3D imaging, a problem is demonstrated. Benacerraf et al found that 75% of patients with abnormally situated IUD's presented with either pain or bleeding - more than twice the rate of women whose IUD's were found normally situated.
We recently saw a young woman who had been in the Emergency Department complaining of pelvic pain for whom the diagnosis of her problem was far from clear. Visualization of the IUD in the coronal plane of her 3D sonogram clearly showed that not only was the device malpositioned in the lower uterus but one of the lateral arms penetrated the wall as well.
So now that you know a 3D study is superior, where should it be done? My answer would be more shameless self-promotion.
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