Heterotopic pregnancy in a large inner-city hospital: a report of two cases

J Natl Med Assoc. 2004 Mar;96(3):363-6.


While ectopic pregnancy is a common occurrence, especially in the nonwhite female patient population, heterotopic pregnancy has traditionally been regarded as a rare clinical event until recently, especially with the advent of assisted reproductive procedures. We reported two cases, one in which an intrauterine pregnancy was discovered after a diagnosis of tubal abortion, another in which a patient underwent laparotomy for a tubal ectopic pregnancy with a concomitant previously diagnosed intrauterine pregnancy. The first patient subsequently delivered at term, while the second was lost to follow-up. In both cases, there was a delay in detecting the ectopic pregnancy component. These cases suggest that the clinician maintain a reasonable index of suspicion while evaluating a patient presenting with pelvic pain in the face of a documented intrauterine pregnancy. They also demonstrate the need for prompt and immediate action at the first sign indicating ectopic pregnancy to avoid missing this potentially life-threatening condition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • District of Columbia
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Urban
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy*
  • Pregnancy, Tubal / diagnosis*