The aim of this study was to share our experience of clinical presentation and ultrasonographic findings in cases of ectopic pregnancy especially in the context of usage of unsupervised medical abortifacients.
Settings and Design
This is prospective study conducted over a period of 1 year extending from August 01, 2009 to July 31, 2010 in a tertiary care Armed Forces Hospital of India.
Materials and Methods
Clinically and or sonologically suspected cases of ectopic pregnancy formed the study group. Detailed clinical, menstrual, and treatment history was obtained for each patient. Ultrasonography (USG) was done with multifrequency convex (2.5–6 MHz) followed by transvaginal (6–10 MHz) probes. Operative findings were noted and recorded in each case.
In the study period, a total of 1958 pregnant patients were admitted and treated, which included 1690 deliveries and 268 abortions. Based on USG findings, 16 cases (0.8 %) of ectopic pregnancy were diagnosed. While four patients were treated medically (with methotrexate), 12 cases underwent surgery. Out of 16 cases, 10 cases were suspected clinically as ectopic pregnancy. Features suggestive of menorrhagia, threatened abortion, and pelvic inflammatory disease were present in five, three, and three cases, respectively. History of intake of medical abortifacients (MA) (mifepristone followed by misoprostol) was present in 07 (43.75 %) cases. On USG, commonest abnormality was a complex adnexal mass seen in 12 (75 %) cases. Gestational sac with definite embryo within and surrounding echogenic rim was seen in five cases. Live ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed in two (12.5 %) cases. Endometrial thickness was less than 10 mm in all cases who had taken MA. Pseudo gestation sac was seen in 02 (12.5 %) cases. Significant hemoperitoneum was present in 10 out of 12 cases operated. Organized hematoma in pelvis masking the presence of adnexal mass was noted in three cases.
Over-the-counter availability, failure to strictly follow the guidelines, unsupervised usage of MA along with atypical clinical history have increased diagnostic dilemma in ectopic pregnancy. Sonographic findings are frequently atypical in such cases. Ectopic pregnancy may remain under-diagnosed with potentially serious consequences in patients who have taken MA without prior confirmation of intrauterine gestation.