First-trimester cesarean scar pregnancy: a comparative analysis of treatment options from the international registry

CSP Collaborative Network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: A cesarean scar pregnancy is an iatrogenic consequence of a previous cesarean delivery. The gestational sac implants into a niche created by the incision of the previous cesarean delivery, and this carries a substantial risk for major maternal complications. The aim of this study was to report, analyze, and compare the effectiveness and safety of different treatments options for cesarean scar pregnancies managed in the first trimester through a registry. Objective: This study aimed to evaluated the ultrasound findings, disease behavior, and management of first-trimester cesarean scar pregnancies. Study Design: We created an international registry of cesarean scar pregnancy cases to study the ultrasound findings, disease behavior, and management of cesarean scar pregnancies. The Cesarean Scar Pregnancy Registry collects anonymized ultrasound and clinical data of individual patients with a cesarean scar pregnancy on a secure, digital information platform. Cases were uploaded by 31 participating centers across 19 countries. In this study, we only included live and failing cesarean scar pregnancies (with or without a positive fetal heart beat) that received active treatment (medical or surgical) before 12+6 weeks’ gestation to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the different management options. Patients managed expectantly were not included in this study and will be reported separately. Treatment was classified as successful if it led to a complete resolution of the pregnancy without the need for any additional medical interventions. Results: Between August 29, 2018, and February 28, 2023, we recorded 460 patients with cesarean scar pregnancies (281 live, 179 failing cesarean scar pregnancy) who fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were registered. A total of 270 of 460 (58.7%) patients were managed surgically, 123 of 460 (26.7%) patients underwent medical management, 46 of 460 (10%) patients underwent balloon management, and 21 of 460 (4.6%) patients received other, less frequently used treatment options. Suction evacuation was very effective with a success rate of 202 of 221 (91.5%; 95% confidence interval, 87.8–95.2), whereas systemic methotrexate was least effective with only 38 of 64 (59.4%; 95% confidence interval, 48.4–70.4) patients not requiring additional treatment. Overall, surgical treatment of cesarean scar pregnancies was successful in 236 of 258 (91.5%, 95% confidence interval, 88.4–94.5) patients and complications were observed in 24 of 258 patients (9.3%; 95% confidence interval, 6.6–11.9). Conclusion: A cesarean scar pregnancy can be managed effectively in the first trimester of pregnancy in more than 90% of cases with either suction evacuation, balloon treatment, or surgical excision. The effectiveness of all treatment options decreases with advancing gestational age, and cesarean scar pregnancies should be treated as early as possible after confirmation of the diagnosis. Local medical treatment with potassium chloride or methotrexate is less efficient and has higher rates of complications than the other treatment options. Systemic methotrexate has a substantial risk of failing and a higher complication rate and should not be recommended as first-line treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • KCl
  • balloon treatment
  • complications
  • hemorrhage
  • hysterectomy
  • management
  • methotrexate
  • suction evacuation
  • surgical excision


Dive into the research topics of 'First-trimester cesarean scar pregnancy: a comparative analysis of treatment options from the international registry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this