Diagnosis of fallopian tube patency

S. M.H. Shah, O. A. Towobola*, M. Masihleho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To evaluate and compare the diagnostic value of hysterosalpingography (HSG) and laparoscopic chromopertubation (LCP), in the diagnosis of fallopian tube patency. Design: A comparative prospective study. Setting: The infertility clinic of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Ga-Rankuwa hospital (Medical University of Southern Africa), Pretoria, South Africa. Subjects: Fifty patients were initially diagnosed with either unilateral or bilateral tubal block using HSG. Six to eight weeks later the same women were subjected to LCP to assess tubal patency. Main outcome measures: Diagnostic accuracy of HSG to establish tubal patency, site of occlusion and the presence of other pathologies was compared with results obtained after laparoscopic chromopertubation (LCP). Results: Hysterosalpingography diagnosed bilateral proximal, bilateral distal and mixed (i.e. one side proximal and the other distal) tubal occlusion in 15(40.5%); 13(35.1%) and five (13.5%) cases respectively. Diagnostic laparoscopy confirmed the above sites of occlusion in nine (24.3%), 71(45.9%) and three (8.1%) cases. Laparoscopy detected bilateral tubal patience in three (8.1%) patients, in whom HSG had diagnosed tubal occlusion. USG was able to detect peritubal adhesion in only four (10.8%) patients as compared with 11 patients when LCP procedure was used. In comparison with HCP, hysterosalpingography demonstrated 70% specificity for accurately diagnosing proximal tubal occlusion. Conclusion: On a comparative scale, HSG demonstrated reduced positive predictive value especially for bilateral proximal tubal occlusion. However, in spite of its relatively limited value for accurately identifying tubal patency, HSG should still serve as a useful primary investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalEast African Medical Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


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