This article illustrates causes of pelvic pain in girls and women that may be inadequately diagnosed by ultrasound (US) and more adequately assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We describe MRI features necessary for detecting disease and helpful in differential diagnosis. Special attention is paid to correlating age and pathology by subdividing the population into four categories: girls up to prepubertal age, pubertal girls, women of reproductive age and postmenopausal women. US is the first-line imaging modality in children and women with pelvic pain, and computed tomography (CT) is usually requested, especially in emergency settings, in patients in whom US is inadequate for diagnosis. However, MRI should be considered at least in urgent, if not in emergent, care given the wide range of female pelvic disorders that can be correctly assessed thanks to the excellent soft-tissue contrast, high spatial resolution and ability to depict blood products. Moreover, MRI should be preferred in children and women of reproductive age because of the absence of radiation exposure.
- pelvic pain