Imaging Appearance and Nonsurgical Management of Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome.
Radiographics. 2019 Mar-Apr;39(2):596-608. doi: 10.1148/rg.2019180159.
Bookwalter CA1, VanBuren WM1, Neisen MJ1, Bjarnason H1.
Pelvic venous congestion syndrome (PVCS) is a challenging and complex cause of chronic pelvic pain in female patients. PVCS due to incompetent vein valves is the combination of gonadal vein reflux and pelvic venous engorgement in patients with chronic pelvic pain without other causes. However, pelvic venous engorgement and gonadal vein reflux can be seen in patients without pelvic pain, which makes obtaining a detailed history and physical examination important for workup and diagnosis. The underlying cause of PVCS may be incompetent gonadal vein valves or structural causes such as left renal vein compression with an incompetent gonadal vein valve (nutcracker syndrome) or iliac vein compression (May-Thurner configuration) with reflux into the ipsilateral internal iliac vein. Venography is considered the criterion standard for imaging diagnosis; however, more recently, US and MRI have been shown to provide adequate accuracy for diagnosis. Noninvasive imaging studies aid in the diagnosis of PVCS and also aid in pretreatment planning. When PVCS is caused by incompetent gonadal vein valves, treatment typically is performed by means of embolization via a minimally invasive catheter with excellent technical and clinical success rates. When PVCS is caused by venous obstruction, the obstruction must be treated first before gonadal vein embolization and sclerotherapy are considered. ©RSNA, 2019 Online supplemental material is available for this article.