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Abnormal uterine bleeding: An evaluation endometrial biopsy, vaginal ultrasound and outpatient hysteroscopy

by David C. Hunter, Neil McClure
Ulster Medical Journal ()


Abnormal uterine bleeding is a common gynaecological symptom. Whilst most patients have benign disease, thorough investigation is necessary, particularly in the peri- and post-menopausal woman. Hysteroscopy with directed biopsy of suspicious lesions is the gold standard investigation but it is invasive and is not offered in all units as an outpatient procedure. Ultrasound and outpatient biopsy techniques may allow patients to be triaged to select those who require formal evaluation by hysteroscopy. We assessed the records of 100 consecutive referrals to the outpatient hysteroscopy clinic at the Royal Maternity Hospital, Belfast. In order to develop a nomogram for the investigation of women with abnormal bleeding patterns, we compared ultrasound/biopsy diagnoses with hysteroscopy/biopsy diagnosis. Pre- and peri-menopausal patients, and post-menopausal patients taking hormone replacement therapy should be investigated further if the endometrial thickness is more than 10 mm, if endometrial biopsy is abnormal, or if symptoms are recurrent. Similarly, post-menopausal patients not taking hormone replacement therapy with an endometrial thickness of 5 mm or more should be referred for hysteroscopy.

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