Ectopic pregnancy: a diagnostic dilemma

Saha Pradip Kumar, Gupta Pratiksha, Goel Poonam, Sehgal Alka, Huria Anju, Shailja Kataria, Rimpy Tandon


Background: To study the etiology, varied clinical presentations and misdiagnosis in ectopic pregnancy.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of all operated ectopic pregnancies over a 7 year period at Government Medical College & hospital, Chandigarh was done.  Details of clinical findings and misdiagnosis were noted.  Surgically confirmed cases were included in this study. Expectant management and Medical management cases were excluded in this study.

Results: Two hundred eighty two cases of ectopic gestation were analyzed. Identifiable risk factor present in 221 cases (78.3%). Pain was the commonest presenting symptom and 78 cases (27%) were misdiagnosed before the correct diagnosis was made by our department.

Conclusions: Ectopic pregnancy can have varied presentations and misdiagnosis can be seen in Surgical, Medical and Gynaecology Departments. A young female with amenorrhea, pain abdomen with or without vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy must be kept in mind. Early diagnosis would help early intervention and thus reduce the morbidity.


Ectopic pregnancy, Misdiagnosis

Full Text:



Challoner K, Incerpi M. Non traumatic abdomino surgical emergencies in the pregnant patients. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2003;21(4):971-85.

Maymon R, Shulman A, Maymon BB, Bar-Levy F, Lotan M, Bahary C. Ectopic pregnancy, the new gynaecological epidemic disease: review of the modern work up and the non surgical treatment option. Int J fertile. 1992:37(3):146-64.

Dorfman SF. Deaths from ectopic pregnancy, United States 1979 to 1980. Obstet Gynecol. 1983;62:344.

Jones EE. Ectopic pregnancy: Common and some uncommon misdiagnosis. Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 1991;18:55-72.

Brenner PF, Ray S, Mishell DR. Ectopic pregnancy: A study of 300 conservative surgically treated cases. JAMA. 1980;243-673.

Ankum WM, Mol BW, Van der Veen F, Bossuyt PM. Risk factors for ectopic pregnancy: a meta-analysis. Fertil Steril. 1996;65(6):1093-9.