Relationship Between Ultrasonographic and Biochemical Markers of Tubal Ectopic Pregnancy and Success of Subsequent Management

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine whether there is an association between morphologic types of tubal ectopic pregnancy (EP), 0-hour human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels, and subsequent management success.

Methods:

We conducted a prospective study (November 2006–December 2015). Women had a diagnosis of EP by transvaginal ultrasonography if they had an inhomogeneous mass adjacent to the ovary and moving separately from it (“blob” sign), a mass with a hyperechoic ring around the gestational sac (“bagel” sign), or a gestational sac with an embryonic pole with or without a yolk sac with or without cardiac activity. The morphologic type, EP size, and 0-hour hCG level were analyzed. A multivariate analysis determined any correlation between these variables and nonsurgical management success.

Results:

A total of 7350 consecutive women underwent transvaginal ultrasonography, of whom 301 (4.2%) had a diagnosis of tubal EP; 181 (60.1%) had the blob sign; 90 (29.9%) had the bagel sign; and 23 (7.6%) were noted to have an embryo (14 viable and 9 nonviable). Eighty-three of 301(27.5%) women had expectant management; 67 of 301(22.2%) were given methotrexate; and 151 of 301 (50%) had surgery. Success rates for the groups were 77%, 75%, and 100%, respectively. No difference between the morphologic type and success rate of treatment was noted. Although there was a significant correlation between the EP mass size and 0-hour hCG level, the mass size itself was not correlated with the success rate of either medical or expectant management. Overall higher 0-hour hCG levels were associated with management failure. In the expectant group, median hCG level for failure was 589 IU/L versus 366 IU/L for success, whereas in the medical group, the median for failure was 1244 IU/L versus 7629 IU/L for success.

Conclusions:

There is no significant correlation between the morphologic type and size of EP with a nonsurgical management outcome. A likely successful outcome is related to a lower level of serum hCG at presentation.

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