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Ectopic pregnancy: Clinical manifestations and diagnosis

Togas Tulandi, MD, MHCM
Section Editors
Robert L Barbieri, MD
Howard T Sharp, MD
Deborah Levine, MD
Deputy Editor
Sandy J Falk, MD, FACOG


An ectopic pregnancy is an extrauterine pregnancy. The majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in the fallopian tube (84 percent) [1], but other possible sites include: cervical, interstitial (also referred to as cornual; a pregnancy located in the proximal segment of the fallopian tube that is embedded within the muscular wall of the uterus), hysterotomy (cesarean) scar, intramural, ovarian, or abdominal. In addition, in rare cases, a multiple gestation may be heterotopic (include both a uterine and extrauterine pregnancy).

The diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is based upon a combination of measurement of the serum quantitative human chorionic gonadotropin and findings on transvaginal ultrasonography.

The clinical manifestations and diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy will be reviewed here. This topic will focus mainly on the diagnosis of tubal pregnancy. The surgical treatment of ectopic pregnancy is reviewed elsewhere. Related topics regarding ectopic pregnancy are discussed in detail separately, including:

Epidemiology, risk factors, and pathology (see "Ectopic pregnancy: Epidemiology, risk factors, and anatomic sites")

Management with methotrexate (see "Ectopic pregnancy: Methotrexate therapy")

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: May 02, 2017.
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