Abdominal Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 7, pp 2582–2593 | Cite as

Transrectal and transvaginal catheter drainages and aspirations for management of pelvic fluid collections: technique, technical success rates, and outcomes in 150 patients

  • David H. BallardEmail author
  • Michael C. Gates
  • Alireza Hamidian Jahromi
  • Daniel V. Harper
  • Daniel V. Do
  • Horacio B. D’Agostino
Interventional Radiology



To evaluate outcomes of image-guided transrectal/transvaginal (TR/TV) drainage for symptomatic pelvic fluid collections (SPFCs).

Materials and methods

Single-center retrospective study of 150 consecutive patients (36 males, 114 females, average age 41 years) who underwent attempted TR/TV drainages of SPFCs during an 11-year, 5-month period. All patients presented with pain and had SPFCs with rectal or vaginal contact on preceding diagnostic CT. Routine technique included Foley catheter insertion, image-guidance with ultrasound and fluoroscopy, 18 g/20 cm Chiba needles, and Seldinger technique for catheter insertion. No anoscope or speculum was used. SPFCs causes were classified by etiology including postoperative—70 (47%); gynecologic—49 (33%); and gastrointestinal—31 (21%). Resolutions of the SPFCs without the need for surgical intervention, collection recurrence, and complications were assessed. Surgical management after attempted TR/TV drainage was considered a failure.


Technical success was achieved in 172/180 procedures [TR 128/134 (95%); TV 44/46 (96%)]. TR/TV drainage successfully managed SPFCs in 141/150 patients (94% success rate) and 145/150 patients (97%) did not require surgical intervention; 4 patients with failed TR/TV drainage attempts were managed conservatively. In 5 patients requiring surgery, 4 were after technically successful TR/TV and 1 was after a failed TR attempt. Complications occurred in 4 (3%) patients: 2 bladder punctures (both resolved with medical management), 1 propagation of sepsis, and 1 hemorrhagic return from TR drainage that prompted surgical exploration.


Transrectal and transvaginal drainage had high technical success rates and were successful in managing the majority (141/150; 94%) of patients with pelvic fluid collections.


Image-guided percutaneous drainage Transrectal drainage Transvaginal drainage Abscess drainage Pelvic abscesses Intraabdominal abscesses 



No funding was received for this study. Dr. Ballard receives salary support from National Institutes of Health TOP-TIER grant T32-EB021955.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was waived by the institutional research committee for this HIPAA compliant retrospective study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mallinckrodt Institute of RadiologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyLouisiana State University Health ShreveportShreveportUSA
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryLouisiana State University Health ShreveportShreveportUSA

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