This study was undertaken to evaluate the predictive value of the serum human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in pregnancies achieved by assisted reproductive techonology (ART). Two hundred and eighty-six pregnancies were studied retrospectively from September 1989 to June 1998. The serum hCG samples at 2-6 weeks after embryo transfer (ET) were analysed by fluoroimmunoassay. Pregnancy status was followed by ultrasonography. There were 100 nonviable pregnancies (NP), 140 viable single pregnancies (VSP) and 46 viable multiple pregnancies (VMP). The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of the D14 hCG (<160 mIU/ml) in distinguishing NP from VSP were 79 per cent, 75 per cent, 68 per cent and 84 per cent, respectively and of the D14 hCG (>350 mIU/ml) in distinguishing VMP from VSP were 82 per cent, 75 per cent, 56 per cent and 91 per cent, respectively. In conclusion, the serum hCG may be used to predict the outcome of early pregnancy achieved by ART.