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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2 (1994), Issue 1, Pages 38-48
Review Article

Diagnostic Evaluation of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Women and lnfants' Hospital, Brown University School of Medicine, 101 Dudley Street, Providence 02905, RI, USA
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA, USA

Received 3 March 1994; Accepted 2 June 1994

Copyright © 1994 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a serious public health and reproductive health problem in the United States. An early and accurate diagnosis of PID is extremely important for the effective management of the acute illness and for the prevention of long-term sequelae. The diagnosis of PID is difficult, with considerable numbers of false-positive and false-negative diagnoses. An abnormal vaginal discharge or evidence of lower genital tract infection is an important and predictive finding that is often underemphasized and overlooked. This paper reviews the clinical diagnosis and supportive laboratory tests for the diagnosis of PID and outlines an appropriate diagnostic plan for the clinician and the researcher.