Salpingoscopy: Light microscopic and electron microscopic correlations

Avner Hershlag, David B. Seifer, Maria L. Carcangiu, Dorothy L. Patton, Michael P. Diamond, Alan H. DeCherney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to examine the ability of salpingoscopy to diagnose intratubal pathology, 32 fallopian tubes were evaluated salpingoscopically and histologically. Both flexible and rigid salpingoscopes were used, and observations were documented by intratubal photography. Salpingoscopic criteria were established and each criterion assigned a numerical value. Each tube was evaluated for patency, mucosal fold architecture, erythema, adhesions, and dilatation. Based on these criteria, tubes were graded as normal or as abnormal with mild, moderate, or severe changes. Histologically, each tube was evaluated for patency, epithelial changes, vascularity, dilatation, adhesions, and active inflammation. Six tubes with significant histologic findings and two histologically normal fallopian tubes were also examined by transmission electron microscopy. In five discordant cases, histology revealed epithelial and stromal changes not detected by salpingoscopy. Fallopian tubes with severe disease were diagnosed by both methods. Transmission electron microscopy of histologically abnormal tubes showed flattening of the epithelium with markedly reduced ciliary distribution, degenerating secretory epithelial cells with large intracellular vacuoles, and swollen nuclei containing sparse chromatin. Our results indicate that salpingoscopic observations are consistent with histologic findings when endotubal disease is severe. However, moderate pathologic changes as documented by light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy were frequently not diagnosed salpingoscopically, even with magnification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-405
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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