Fever in the post-cesarean section patient may indicate the presence of a potentially life-threatening complication, including abscess, ovarian vein thrombosis, and uterine dehiscence. Imaging findings are often utilized to ascertain the presence or absence of such complications. Familiarity with the normal findings in the postoperative period is essential in making this determination. The purpose of this investigation is to describe the MRI appearance of the post-cesarean section pelvis. Over a 67-month period, 50 patients with persistent low-grade fevers following c-section were referred for MR imaging. Imaging was performed 3-10 days postoperatively. Axial T1- weighted and T2-weighted images were acquired in addition to sagittal T2- weighted images. Coronal images were obtained in some cases. Clinical correlation was obtained through the patients charts, confirming discharge of the patients in stable condition. The uterine incision site usually demonstrated findings consistent with subacute hematoma. The anterior uterine myometrium demonstrated enlargement relative to the posterior uterine wall. Bladder flap hematomas were seen in 64% of cases. Three cases (6%) demonstrated parametrial edema and none of these patients demonstrated ovarian vein thrombosis. Two cases of pelvic hematoma were noted. The normal post-c-section incision site may demonstrate increased or decreased signal intensity on T2-weighted images and intact endometrial and serosal layers mitigate against the diagnosis of incisional dehiscence. Bladder flap hematomas occurred in slightly more than half the cases. Parametrial edema and pelvic hematoma can be seen as post-surgical changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging