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Clinical and ultrasound characteristics of vaginal lesions
  1. Federica Pozzati,
  2. Francesca Moro,
  3. Martina Leombroni,
  4. Valentina Bertoldo,
  5. Nausica Trivellizzi,
  6. Floriana Mascilini,
  7. Giulia Bolomini,
  8. Francesca Ciccarone,
  9. Giorgia Garganese,
  10. Giovanni Scambia and
  11. Antonia Carla Testa
  1. Dipartimento Scienze della Salute della Donna, del Bambino e di Sanità Pubblica, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli, IRCCS, Roma, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Federica Pozzati, Dipartimento Scienze della Salute della Donna, del Bambino e di Sanità Pubblica, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli, IRCCS, Roma 00168, Italy; federica.pozzati{at}


Objective Ultrasound examination represents the most important diagnostic method to preoperatively assess gynecological diseases. However, the ultrasound characteristics of vaginal pathologies are poorly investigated. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical and ultrasound characteristics of vaginal lesions detected at ultrasound.

Methods This was a single center, prospective, observational study including patients with vaginal masses examined from January 2017 to May 2019. Morphologic sonographic characteristics of the lesions were described as unilocular, multilocular, unilocular-solid, multilocular-solid, and solid. For the analysis, patients were grouped into a 'malignant group', including patients with confirmed malignancy at final histology, and a 'benign group', including patients with a confirmed benign pathology at final histology and patients without a histological diagnosis but with a lesion that manifested no changes during follow-up.

Results 44 patients were enrolled. 22 (50%) of 44 lesions were benign: 12 (54.5%) of these underwent ultrasound follow-up and did not show any changes at the 12 month follow-up whereas 10 (45.5%) lesions had surgical excision which confirmed the benign nature. The remaining 22 (50%) of 44 lesions underwent surgery because of suspicion of malignancy: histology confirmed a malignancy in 20 (90.9%) of 22 cases. Benign lesions were described as follow: 11/24 (45.8%) unilocular, 3/24 (12.5%) multilocular with two locules, and 10/24 (41.7%) solid lesions. Malignant lesions were solid in 19/20 (95%) cases and multilocular-solid in 1/20 (5%). Most benign lesions had a color score of 1–2 (20/24, 83.4%) while malignant lesions had a color score of 3–4 (18/20, 90%).

Conclusion A typical ultrasound image of a benign lesion was a unilocular cyst or hypoechoic solid mass with no or minimal vascularization on color Doppler examination. Malignant vaginal lesions were hypoechoic solid tumors with irregular margins and moderate/rich vascularization or multilocular-solid. Ultrasound should be used to supplement the clinician in the management of vaginal lesions.

  • vagina
  • vaginal neoplasms

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  • Contributors All authors have provided substantial contributions and are in agreement with all aspects of the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The protocol was approved by our institutional review board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.