Asymptomatic Endometrial Thickening
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OBJECTIVE: To formulate clinical recommendations for the assessment of endometrial thickening when it is found on ultrasound in a postmenopausal patient without bleeding. OUTCOMES: Ensure that women with asymptomatic thickening and endometrial polyps found on ultrasound are managed appropriately. EVIDENCE: Published literature was retrieved through searches of English language articles from the EMBASE, Cochrane, and PubMed databases for relevant peer-reviewed articles dating from 1970 to 2009, using appropriate controlled vocabulary (e.g., "asymptomatic endometrial thickness," "endometrial cancer," "postmenopausal bleeding," "transvaginal ultrasonography," "endometrial biopsy" and "endometrial polyp"). Results were restricted to systematic reviews, randomized control trials/controlled clinical trials, and observational studies. Searches were updated on a regular basis and incorporated in the guideline to April 2010. Grey (unpublished) literature was identified through searching the websites of health technology assessment and health technology assessment-related agencies, clinical practice guideline collections, clinical trial registries, and national and international medical specialty societies. VALUES: The level of evidence was determined according to the criteria established by the Canadian Task Force on Preventative Health Care (Table). Recommendations are ranked according to this method. BENEFITS, HARMS, AND COSTS: It is anticipated that the adoption of these recommendations would save postmenopausal women unnecessary anxiety, pain, and risk of procedural complication. It is also expected to decrease the cost to the health system by eliminating unnecessary interventions.
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