Diagnosis of bowel endometriosis: A review

Simone Ferrero, Matteo Morotti, Mario Valenzano Menada, Pier Luigi Venturini, Ennio Biscaldi, Giovanni Camerini, Valentino Remorgida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the presence of intestinal endometriosis cannot be reliably established by physical examination or the evaluation of intestinal symptoms, imaging techniques are required for the diagnosis of bowel endometriosis. This review evaluates the techniques available for the diagnosis of intestinal endometriosis based on a search of the Medline database and Embase up to February 2010. Several studies have proved that radiological techniques (double contrast barium enema, magnetic resonance imaging, and multidetector computerized tomography enteroclysis) are able to accurately diagnose intestinal endometriosis. Magnetic resonance imaging has the advantage of determining the presence of deep endometriotic lesions in other pelvic locations. Rectal endoscopic ultrasonography can precisely determine the presence of bowel endometriosis but its use is limited by the availability of the equipment required to carry out the exam. Over the last five years, several studies have proved that transvaginal ultrasonography is accurate in the diagnosis of rectosigmoid endometriosis; in addition, this exam is well tolerated by patients and is inexpensive. Therefore, transvaginal ultrasonography should be the first-line investigation in patients with suspected intestinal endometriosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Bowel endometriosis
  • Diagnosis
  • Double contrast barium enema
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Multidetector computerized tomography enteroclysis
  • Transvaginal ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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