Introduction

While transabdominal or transvaginal ultrasound remain the imaging modalities of first choice for the initial evaluation of any suspected pathologic condition of the female genital tract, technical advances in cross-sectional imaging have opened up many diagnostic applications in female pelvic pathology. Computed tomography (CT) is usually employed in an emergency situation, such as in an acute abdomen caused by ovarian torsion, as well as for the diagnosis of metastatic spread in oncologic patients. Compared to CT, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides improved soft tissue contrast and is thus better suited to evaluate female genital organs. Further advantages of MRI over CT include that it does not employ ionizing radiation and has no teratogenic effects. MRI is thus well suited for imaging women of reproductive age and especially during pregnancy, e.g., for MR pelvimetry and, more recently, as an adjunct to sonography for fetal imaging. MRI nowadays plays an increasing role in preopera-tive characterization and staging of gynecologic tumors and is also used as a problem-solving tool in benign conditions, e.g., in patients with uterine malformations or leiomyoma, or to select appropriate candidates for therapies such as myomectomy and uterine embolization.

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