Skip to main content


Log in

Nuck canal endometriosis: MR imaging findings and clinical features

  • Published:
Abdominal Imaging Aims and scope Submit manuscript



The purpose of this study was to describe the MR imaging findings of Nuck canal endometriosis (NCE).

Materials and methods

In a 10-year period, 486 out of 612 patients, with laparoscopically and/or surgically proven diagnosis of pelvic endometriosis, underwent MR imaging examination. The examinations were reviewed by two urogenital experienced radiologists working in consensus. Data analysis included: lesions location, size, morphological and signal intensity pattern, involvement of the adjacent muscles, and tendons.


In 372 out of 486 patients an MRI diagnosis of endometriosis was made. NCE was found in eight patients. All the lesions were located on the right side. The mean size of the lesions was 2.5 cm (range 1.5–4.5 cm). Two patterns of NCE were found: type 1, prevalently cystic (n = 2); and type 2, prevalently solid with small scattered cysts within lesion (n = 6). In all the patients, hemorrhagic hyperintense cysts could be seen on T1-weighted images. In four patients, the lesions involved the inguinal canal, and in another four patients, the lesions were only outside the inguinal canal. Involvement of the abdominis rectus muscle was seen in two patients, and of the adductor common tendon in two patients.


MR imaging permits the diagnosis of NCE as well as the evaluation of exact extension of the disease.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Woodward PJ, Sohaey R, Mezzetti TP (2001) Endometriosis: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics 21:193–216

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Hensen JHJ, Van Breda Vriesman AC, Puylaert JBCM (2006) Abdominal wall endometriosis: clinical presentation and imaging features with emphasis on sonography. AJR 186:616–620

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Hottat N, Larrousse C, Anaf V, et al. (2009) Endometriosis: contribution of 3.0-T pelvic MR imaging in preoperative assessment-initial results. Radiology 253:126–134

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Kirkpatrick A, Reed CM, Bui-Mansfield C, Russel MJ, Whitford W (2006) Endometriosis of the canal of Nuck. AJR 186:56–57

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Kuligowska E, Deeds L, Lu K (2005) Pelvic pain: over-looked and underdiagnosed gynecologic conditions. Radiographics 25:3–20

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Bis KG, Vrachliotis TG, Agrawal R, et al. (1997) Pelvic endometriosis: MR imaging spectrum with laparoscopic correlation and diagnostic pitfalls. Radiographics 17:639–655

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Busard MPH, Mijatovic V, van Kuijk C, Hompes PGA, van Waesberghe JHTM (2009) Appearance of abdominal wall endometriosis on MR imaging. Eur Radiol doi:10.1007/s00330-009-1658-1

  8. Shadbolt CL, Heinze SBJ, Dietrich RB (2001) Imaging of groin masses: inguinal anatomy and pathologic conditions revisited. Radiographics 21:261–271

    Google Scholar 

  9. Bhosale PR, Patnana M, Viswanathan C, Szklaruk J (2008) The inguinal canal: anatomy and imaging features of common and uncommon masses. Radiographics 28:819–835

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Strasser EJ, Davis RM (1977) Extraperitoneal inguinal endometriosis. Am Surg 43:421–422

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Hagiwara Y, Hatori M, Moriya T, et al. (2007) Inguinal endometriosis attaching to the round ligament. Australas Radiol 51:91–94

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Low RS, Jones AO, Houang M, et al. (2007) Endometriosis of the inguinal region: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings. Australas Radiol 51(Suppl):B272–B275

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Ducarme G, Uzan M, Poncelet C (2007) Endometriosis mimicking hernia recurrence. Hernia 11:175–177

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Licheri S, Pisano G, Erdas E, et al. (2005) Endometriosis of the round ligament: description of a clinical case and review of the literature. Hernia 9:294–297

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Lee JC, Meirion Thomas J, Philips S, Fisher C, Moskovic E (2006) Aggressive fibromatosis: MRI features with pathologic correlation. AJR 186:247–254

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Dinauer PA, Brixey CJ, Moncur JT, Fanburg-Smith JC, Murphey MD (2007) Pathologic and MR imaging features of benign fibrous soft-tissue tumors in adults. Radiographics 27:173–187

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Cervini P, Mahoney J, Wu L (2005) Endometriosis in the canal of Nuck: atypical manifestations in an unusual location. AJR 85:284–285

    Google Scholar 

  18. Yang DM, Kim HC, Ryu JK, Lim JW, Kim GY (2010) Sonographic findings of inguinal endometriosis. J Ultrasound Med 29:105–110

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Yang DM, Kim HC, Jin W, et al. (2007) Inguinal endometriosis presenting as a multicystic mass on sonography. J Ultrasound Med 26:1449–1451

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Togashi K, Nishimura K, Kimura I, et al. (1991) Endometrial cysts: diagnosis with MR imaging. Radiology 180:73–78

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Takeuchi M, Matsuzaki K, Kubo H, Nishitani H (2008) Magnetic resonance manifestations of endometrial cysts at 3T compared with 1.5 T. J Comput Assist Tomogr 32:369–371

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Harish S, Lee JC, Ahmad M, Saifuddin A (2006) Soft tissue masses with “cyst-like’’ appearance on MR imaging: distinction of benign and malignant lesions. Eur Radiol 16:2652–2660

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Park SJ, Lee HK, Hong HS, et al. (2004) Hydrocele of the canal of Nuck in a girl: ultrasound and MR appearance. Br J Radiol 77:243–244

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Gielen JLMA, De Schepper AMA, Parizel PM, Wang XL, Vanhoenacker F (2003) Additional value of magnetic resonance with spin echo T1-weighted imaging with fat suppression in characterization of soft tissue tumors. J Comput Assist Tomogr 27:434–441

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Fedele L, Bianchi S, Frontino G, Zanconato G, Rubino T (2007) Radical excision of inguinal endometriosis. Obstet Gynecol 110:530–533

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Achille Mileto.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Gaeta, M., Minutoli, F., Mileto, A. et al. Nuck canal endometriosis: MR imaging findings and clinical features. Abdom Imaging 35, 737–741 (2010).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: