The British journal of radiology 2017 03 2990(1073) 20160947 doi 10.1259/bjr.20160947
Different types of vaginal fistulas is a relatively uncommon condition in the Western world but very frequent in developing countries. In the past, conventional vaginography was the radiological examination of choice for exploring this condition. CT and MRI are now both used for this purpose. Our objective was to test the feasibility and to explore the potential role of a new CT imaging technique implementing vaginal introitus obstruction and opacification of the vagina with iodine contrast agent, to show patency of a fistula.
We describe the technical protocol of CT-vaginography as performed in Geneva University Hospitals, including vaginal catheterization with a Foley catheter and obstruction of the introitus by inflating the balloon of the catheter. We also report three cases of patients with suspected vaginal fistula who underwent CT-vaginography.
The examinations were technically successful. In one patient, it revealed the presence of fistulous pathways from the vaginal fornix along the bilateral infected surgical prostheses. In a second patient, it showed a fistula between the vagina and the necrotic cavity of a recurrent cervical cancer. In a third patient, it proved the absence of a suspected vaginal fistula.
CT-vaginography is a technically feasible CT protocol that provides anatomical and functional information on clinically suspected vaginal fistulas. Advances in knowledge: After the abandon of conventional vaginography in the era of transaxial imaging, the current modalities of imaging vaginal fistulas provide excellent anatomical detail but less functional information concerning the permeability of a vaginal fistulous pathway. We propose the use of CT-vaginography, a technical protocol that we describe in detail.