A fifteen year experience with ectopic pregnancy

M. L. Tancer, I. Delke, N. P. Veridiano

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43 Scopus citations


The increasing importance of an ectopic pregnancy as a cause of maternal death presents a challenge that will be met when primary care physician combine a high index of suspicion with the ability to recognize the patient most at risk. The major symptoms, abdominal pain, secondary amenorrhea and abnormal vaginal bleeding are well known, as are the major signs, abdominal tenderness, adnexal mass and tenderness on motion of the cervix. Less well known are factors in the clinical history which indicate the patient to be at high risk. These include primary or secondary infertility, previous tubal operation, either reconstructive or sterilizing. In addition, the use of an intrauterine contraceptive device or its recent removal because of abdominal pain or bleeding, or both, is highly significant. Of major importance is history of recent uterine evacuation. Should the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy be under consideration, procrastination by observation is no longer acceptable. An active effort must be made to confirm or deny the diagnosis. Culdocentesis should be performed in the emergency department or clinic. If positive, prompt laparotomy is indicated. Should the result of culdocentesis be unsatisfactory or negative, laparoscopy should be undertaken without further delay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-182
Number of pages4
JournalSurgery Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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