Advanced extrauterine pregnancy: diagnostic and therapeutic challenges

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Mar;198(3):297.e1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2007.09.044.


Objective: The objective of the study was to identify women with advanced extrauterine pregnancy, specifically assessing the problems encountered with their diagnosis and management, preoperative evaluation, and surgical removal.

Study design: This was a case series including women diagnosed with an extrauterine pregnancy of 18 weeks' gestation or greater at our institution from 1980 to 2005.

Results: We identified 10 women with advanced extrauterine pregnancies during the study period. Diagnosis was not optimal, and only 6 were discovered preoperatively. Despite the fact that only 3 of 10 women met diagnostic criteria for an abdominal pregnancy, surgical dissection was universally difficult, and hemorrhage was common with 9 of 10 patients requiring blood transfusions. In 2 women, the placenta was left in situ, and both developed serious complications. All 5 viable fetuses survived, but their courses were long and complicated.

Conclusion: Irrespective of placental implantation site, an advanced extrauterine pregnancy is a serious condition. The currently accepted definition of abdominal pregnancy is too exclusive.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second*
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy, Ectopic / surgery*