Complications associated with the absorption of hysteroscopic fluid media

C. A. Witz, K. M. Silverberg, W. N. Burns, R. S. Schenken, D. L. Olive

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Objectives: To review the literature concerning complications resulting from absorption of hysteroscopic fluid distension media and to describe methods to treat and prevent these complications. Design: All pertinent literature on fluid distension media used for endoscopy, as well as relevant reports concerning the management of fluid and electrolyte imbalance, was reviewed. Results: The absorption of large volumes of electrolyte-free, low- viscosity fluid may result in volume overload with water intoxication. Volume overload may cause pulmonary edema, and water intoxication may lead to hyponatremia, hypo-osmolarity, and cerebral edema. In contrast, the absorption of dextran-70 may cause volume overload secondary to the oncotic effect of intravascular dextran. Dextran-70 has been associated with anaphylaxis and coagulation disorders. Treatment: The use of diuretics is advocated. Urine output must be closely monitored. Judicious correction of electrolyte imbalance will prevent morbidity. Prevention: Meticulous attention to intraoperative fluid balance is imperative. A multichannel hysteroscope is necessary to keep intrauterine pressure low. Extensive surgical procedures may need to be performed in stages. Conclusions: Severe volume overload and electrolyte imbalance may result from fluid absorption during operative hysteroscopy. Most complications may be avoided by closely monitoring fluid balance intraoperatively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-756
Number of pages12
JournalFertility and sterility
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1993


  • Hyskon
  • Hysteroscopy
  • dextran-70
  • distension media
  • glycine
  • intrauterine surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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