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Advances in Urology
Volume 2008, Article ID 213516, 4 pages
Clinical Study

Diagnosis of Female Diverticula Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging

1University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
2Department of Urology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

Received 28 August 2007; Revised 6 March 2008; Accepted 16 May 2008

Academic Editor: Donna Deng

Copyright © 2008 Sima Porten and Stephanie Kielb. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We investigate the ability of physical exam to diagnose urethral diverticula with or without magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and exclusive of invasive modalities. A retrospective chart review of all women undergoing urethral diverticulectomy at our institution since 1999 was performed. We identified 28 female patients with a mean age at diagnosis of 42.6 years (range 18–66). Common presenting symptoms included dyspareunia, urgency, and frequency. Physical exam revealed a suspected urethral diverticulum in 26 (92.9%) patients, which was confirmed postoperatively in 17 of the 20 (85%) women who underwent surgical resection. Noninvasive imaging modalities (MRI or CT) were available for review in 20 (71%) cases and made the correct diagnosis of urethral diverticulum (presence or absence) in 19 (95%) patients. In those patients with symptoms of stress or urge incontinence (11, 39%), voiding cystourethrogram (VCUG) was performed. Urethral diverticula are often easily diagnosed on physical exam. MRI can be a useful adjunct for defining diverticular extent in surgical planning, especially for proximal and complex diverticula, and should be the modality of choice if clinical suspicion is high based on patient symptoms and physical exam.