Cahiers d'études et de recherches francophones / Santé


Uterovaginal and pelvic masses in black African women: the contribution of echographic examination Volume 6, issue 3, Mai-Juin 1996

Service de radiologie, CHU de Yopougon, 21, BP 632, Abidjan 21, Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Page(s) : 145-50
  • Published in: 1996

Echography was prospectively performed in 345 black African female patients with pelvic masses which had been clinically detected in some cases. The women were between 11 and 65 years old. The aims of this study were to list the pelvic masses observed in black African women, to record any potentially distinguishing features and to evaluate the sensitivity arid the specificity of echography as applied here. A total of 477 masses were listed. Ovarian masses were the most frequent (56.66%) followed by uterine masses (31.45%). Most masses were benign. We observed only two cases of ovarian cancer. The sensitivity was 100% and the specificity was 97.69%. Eleven cases (2.3%) of the ultrasound diagnoses did not correspond with the final diagnoses. As for distinguishing aspects, these patients were younger than European patients - this was particularly true for patients with fibroid masses (a range of 31 to 40 years compared to 40 to 50 years). Genetic factors in these patients could explain the high rate and early appearance of fibroids. Because the diagnosis of vaginal masses is well established by clinical examination rather than by echography, this lesion was rarely observed. The most frequent clinical complaint was pelvic pain (36.94%), followed by pelvic mass impression (28.65%). We found high rates of both past histories of miscarriage and abortion (60.7%) and postabortion pelvic hematoma. The hematomas comprised 45.4% of the non-genital pelvic masses. Misdiagnosis of pyosalpinx was often a source of diagnostic error. Thus, to avoid false diagnoses of pyosalpinx in evaluating pelvic masses with a void in ultrasound, the possibility of an infectious episode should be evaluated by definitive questioning. Ultrasound examination is of value in evaluating the pelvic masses of women; however, this should be considered within the appropriate disease context.