An assessment of the value of ultrasonographic screening for endometrial disease in postmenopausal women without symptoms


      Objective: Our purpose was to evaluate the use of transvaginal ultrasonography for the detection of endometrial disease in a population of postmenopausal women who were without symptoms. Study Design: Postmenopausal women were screened for potential inclusion in 2 multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of 2 years’ duration to evaluate the safety and efficacy of idoxifene in the prevention of osteoporosis. Baseline endometrial evaluation was performed by transvaginal ultrasonography and aspiration biopsy of the endometrium. Results: A total of 1926 women were screened by transvaginal ultrasonography, and 1833 of them had endometrial thickness ≤6 mm. Five cases of endometrial abnormality (adenocarcinoma [n = 1] and atypical hyperplasia [n = 4]) were detected in the 1750 women from this cohort who underwent biopsy. The negative predictive value was >99%. One case of adenocarcinoma was detected in the 42 women who had endometrial thickness >6 mm and underwent biopsy. However, the sampling rate (45%) of women with endometrial thickness >6 mm was too low for confidence in the positive predictive value of 2%. Conclusions: Despite a high negative predictive value, transvaginal ultrasonography may not be an effective screening procedure for detection of endometrial abnormality in untreated postmenopausal women who are without symptoms. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;184:70-4.)


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