World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Arcuate uterus

Article Id: WHEBN0005946737
Reproduction Date:

Title: Arcuate uterus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Unicornuate uterus, Uterine malformation, Anatomical pathology, Aphallia, Vaginal septum
Collection: Anatomical Pathology, Congenital Disorders of Female Genital Organs
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Arcuate uterus

Arcuate uterus
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 Q51.9
ICD-9-CM 752.9

The arcuate uterus is a form of a uterine anomaly or variation where the uterine cavity displays a concave contour towards the fundus. Normally the uterine cavity is straight or convex towards the fundus on anterior-posterior imaging, but in the arcuate uterus the myometrium of the fundus dips into the cavity and may form a small septation. The distinction between an arcuate uterus and a septate uterus is not standardized.


  • Etiology 1
  • Prevalence 2
  • Clinical presentation 3
  • Diagnosis 4
  • Management 5
  • Differential diagnosis 6
  • References 7


The uterus is formed during embryogenesis by the fusion of the two Müllerian ducts. During this fusion a resorption process eliminates the partition between the two ducts to create a single cavity. This process begins caudally and advances cranially, thus an arcuate uterus represents an in the final stage incomplete absorption process.


Most studies of uterine malformations are based on populations of women who have experienced a pregnancy loss and thus do not address the issue of the prevalence in the general population. A screening study by Woelfer at al. of women without a history of reproductive problems found that about 5% of women had an arcuate uterus when they defined an arcuate uterus any fundal protrusion into the cavity that had an apical angle of more than 90 degrees. Accordingly it was the most common uterine anomaly, followed by septate uterus (3%) and bicornuate uterus (0.5%).[1]

Clinical presentation

The condition may not be known to the affected individual and not result in any reproductive problems; thus normal pregnancies occur.[2] Indeed, there is no consensus on the relationship of the arcuate uterus and recurrent pregnancy loss.[3] Accordingly, the condition may be a variation or a pathology.

One view maintains that the condition is associated with a higher risk for miscarriage, premature birth, and malpresentation. Thus a study that evaluated women with uterine bleeding by hysteroscopy found that 6.5% of subjects displayed the arcuate uterus and had evidence of reproductive impairments.[4] A study based on hysterosalpingraphic detected arcuate lesions documented increased fetal loss and obstetrical complications as a risk for affected women.[5] Woelfer found that the miscarriage risk is more pronounced in the second trimester.[1] In contrast, a study utilizing 3-D ultrasonography to document the prevalence of the arcuate uterus in a gynecological population found no evidence of increased risk of reproductive loss; in this study 3.1% of women had an arcuate uterus making it the most common uterine anomaly; this prevalence was similar than in women undergoing sterilization and lower than in women with recurrent pregnancy loss.[6]


A pelvic examination will not reveal the condition. Investigations are usually prompted on the basis of reproductive problems.

Helpful techniques to investigate the uterine structure are transvaginal ultrasonography and sonohysterography, hysterosalpingography, MRI, and hysteroscopy. More recently 3-D ultrasonography has been advocated as an excellent non-invasive method to delineate the condition.[1]


Many patients with an arcuate uterus will not experience any reproductive problems and do not require any surgery. In patients with recurrent pregnancy loss thought to be caused by an arcuate uterus hysteroscopic resection can be performed.

Differential diagnosis

The major differential diagnosis is the uterine septum. The lack of agreement to separate these two entities makes it difficult to assess the results in the literature.


  1. ^ a b c Woelfer B, Salim R, Banerjee S, Elson J, Regan L, Jurkovic D (2001). Scholar search "Reproductive outcomes in women with congenital uterine anomalies detected by three-dimensional ultrasound screening" . Obstet Gynecol 98 (6): 1099–103.  
  2. ^ Creasy RK, Resnik R (1994). Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders. p. 447.  
  3. ^ ACOG. "Management of Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss". Practice Bulletin Number 24, 2001, page 3. 
  4. ^ Maneschi F, Zupi E, Marconi D, Valli E, Romanini C, Mancuso S (1995). "Hysteroscopically detected asymptomatic müllerian anomalies. Prevalence and reproductive implications". J Reprod Med 40 (10): 684–8.  
  5. ^ Sørensen SS, Trauelsen AG (1987). "Obstetric implications of minor müllerian anomalies in oligomenorrheic women". Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 156 (5): 1112–8.  
  6. ^ Jurkovic D, Gruboeck K, Tailor A, Nicolaides KH (1997). "Ultrasound screening for congenital uterine anomalies". Br J Obstet Gynaecol 104 (11): 1320–1.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.