Endometrial Biopsy Lianne Beck, MD Assistant Professor Emory Family Medicine
Abnormal uterine bleeding: postmenopausal bleeding, malignancy/hyperplasia, ovulation/anovulation, HRT Evaluation of patient with one year of presumed menopausal amenorrhea Assessment of enlarged utereus (combined with US and neg HCG) Monitoring adjuvant hormonal tx (tamoxifen) Evaluation of infertility Abnormal Pap smear with atypical cells favoring endometrial origin (AGUS) Follow-up of previously diagnosed endometrial hyperplasia Cancer screening (e.g., hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer) Inappropriately thick endometrial stripe found on US Endometrial dating Indications
Contraindications • Pregnancy • Acute PID • Clotting disorders (coagulopathy) • Acute cervical or vaginal infections • Cervical cancer
Conditions Possibly Prohibiting Endometrial Biopsy • Morbid obesity • Severe pelvic relaxation with uterine descensus • Severe cervical stenosis
Equipment • Non-sterile Tray (Examination for Uterine Position) • Nonsterile gloves • Lubricating jelly • Absorbent pad to place beneath the patient on the examination table • Formalin container (for endometrial sample) with the patient's name and the date recorded on the label • 20 percent benzocaine (Hurricaine) spray with the extended application nozzle * * Optional
Equipment • Sterile Tray for the Procedure • Sterile gloves • Sterile vaginal speculum • Uterine sound • Sterile metal basin containing sterile cotton balls soaked in povidone-iodine solution • Endometrial suction catheter • Cervical tenaculum • Ring forceps (for wiping the cervix with the cotton balls) • Sterile 4 x 4 gauze (to wipe off gloves or equipment)
Procedure • Patient in lithotomy position, bimanual exam to determine uterine size, position, uterocervical angulation. • Insert sterile speculum. • Clean cervix with povidone-iodine solution. • Sound the uterus. If needed, use tenaculum, grasping the anterior lip of cervix, for counter-traction. • Pull outward with tenaculum to straighten the uterocervical angle. • Insert sound to the fundus, using steady moderate pressure. Usually measure 6-8 cm.
Procedure • May need cervical dilators if sound will not pass through internal os. • Insert sterile endometrial biopsy catheter tip into cervix to the fundus, or until resistance is felt, avoiding contamination from nearby tissues. • Fully withdraw the internal piston on the catheter, creating suction at the catheter tip. • Obtain tissue by moving with an in-and-out motion and using a 360-degree twisting motion. Allowing tip to exit endometrial cavity will lose suction.
FIGURE 1. Endometrial suction catheter. (A) The catheter tip is inserted into the uterus fundus or until resistance is felt. (B) Once the catheter is in the uterus cavity, the internal piston is fully withdrawn. (C) A 360-degree twisting motion is used as the catheter is moved between the uterus fundus and the internal os.
Procedure • Once the catheter fills with tissue, withdraw it, and place sample in the formalin container, by pushing piston back into the catheter tip. Make a second pass if necessary. • Remove tenaculum, apply pressure to any bleeding, then remove speculum.
Follow Up • Normal endometrial • Proliferative (estrogen effect or preovulatory) • Secretory (progesterone effect or postovulatory) • Atrophic endometrium • Hormonal therapy • Cystic or simple hyperplasia w/o atypia • Progress to cancer is < 5% • Hormonal manipulation (medroxyprogesterone [Provera], 10 mg daily for five days to three months) • Close follow-up w/ repeat EBx in 3-12 months
Follow-Up • Atypical complex hyperplasia • Progresses to cancer in 30 to 45 % • D&C to exclude endometrial cancer • Consider hysterectomy for complex or high-grade hyperplasia. • Endometrial carcinoma • Referral to a gynecologic oncologist for definitive surgical therapy.
Pitfalls/Complications • The Catheter Won't Go Up into the Uterus Easily in Perimenopausal Patients. • Insert an osmotic laminaria (seaweed) 3-mm dilator in the patient morning of procedure. • Patients Report Cramping Associated with the Procedure. • NSAIDS before procedure • Topical anesthetic • The Procedure Should Not Be Performed in Pregnant Patients. • R/O pregnancy in all women of childbearing age.
Pitfalls/Complications • Infection Occurs Following the Procedure. • Adhere to strict sterile technique • Antibiotics • The Pathologist Reports That the Specimens Have Insufficient Sample for Diagnosis. • Use a second pass • The Tenaculum Causes Discomfort When Applied to the Cervix. • Topical anesthetic
References • Zuber T. Endometrial Biopsy. American Family Physician. 2001;63:1131-1135 • Baughan DM. Office endometrial aspiration biopsy. Fam Pract Res 1993;15:45-55.