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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Ectopic pregnancy
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Potentially life-threatening emergency

Ectopic pregnancy

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Contributors: Mitchell Linder MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

The term ectopic pregnancy refers to any pregnancy tissue that is located outside of the uterine cavity. Ectopic pregnancies can be found in the cervix, cornua, fallopian tubes, ovaries, a prior cesarean section (C-section) scar, or more rarely, attached to the abdominal lining, bowel, or other viscera.

Ectopic pregnancies are by definition nonviable. If left untreated they may cause their containing structure (eg, fallopian tube, cornua, scar) to rupture, leading to acute blood loss and subsequent morbidity and possibly death.

Ectopic pregnancies are found in reproductive age women. Risk factors include prior ectopic pregnancy, history of endometriosis or tubal infection (pelvic inflammatory disease), use of progesterone intrauterine device (IUD), history of tubal surgery, advanced maternal age, and tobacco use.

Presentation can vary. Patients may present with a positive home pregnancy test and unilateral lower quadrant pain that is often sharp / stabbing in nature. Some will present after tubal rupture and be hemodynamically unstable. Others may present with only vaginal spotting and be unaware they are even pregnant. Therefore, one must have a high index of suspicion when a patient arrives with a positive pregnancy test and symptomatology.

Codes

ICD10CM:
O00.90 – Unspecified ectopic pregnancy without intrauterine pregnancy
O00.91 – Unspecified ectopic pregnancy with intrauterine pregnancy

SNOMEDCT:
34801009 – Ectopic pregnancy

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Last Reviewed: 07/20/2017
Last Updated: 07/21/2017
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Potentially life-threatening emergency
Ectopic pregnancy
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Ectopic pregnancy : Abdominal pain, Amenorrhea, Elevated urine hCG level, Pelvic pain, Vaginal bleeding, Adnexal mass on pelvic exam
Imaging Studies image of Ectopic pregnancy
Axial CT image demonstrates high attenuation fluid in the pelvis consistent with blood. Patient with subsequent positive pregnancy test, and found to have ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
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