Medical management of ectopic pregnancy

Tseten Zangmu Bhutia, Zigmee Dorjee Tamang, Goutam Giri


Background: Ectopic pregnancy is a commonest cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in the first trimester of pregnancy. Clinical presentation of ectopic pregnancy has changed from life threatening disease to a more benign condition for which nonsurgical treatment options are available with methotrexate administered systemically or locally. The study was done to evaluate the outcome of medical management of ectopic pregnancy with single regimen methotrexate.

Methods: A cohort study was conducted over 18 months on 60 unruptured ectopic pregnancies who were treated with methotrexate injection.

Results: Out of 60 unruptured ectopic pregnancies, 53 (88.3%) were successfully treated with methotrexate. Failure rate was 11.7% (7/60) patients who underwent laparotomy. Success of medical treatment was dependent on pretreatment β-hCG (≤4102.5 mIU/mL), period of gestation (≤5 weeks), size of gestational sac (≤3 cm) above which the failure rate increases. No correlation was seen between fall of β-hCG from day 4 to 7 and the success rate. Mean time to resolution of β-hCG seen was 4.3±1.25 weeks. Mean duration of hospital stay was 8.85±1.603 days. Single dose regimen of methotrexate was given to all patients and only 1/60 patients required second dose of methotrexate for suboptimal decrease of β-hCG.

Conclusions: The result showed that pretreatment β-hCG level and period of gestation were good predictors for success of medical treatment.


Ectopic pregnancy, Methotrexate, β-hCG

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