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Spontaneous Heterotopic Pregnancy: Dual Case Report and Review of Literature

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      Introduction. Heterotopic pregnancy is a rare complication usually seen in populations at risk for ectopic pregnancy or those undergoing fertility treatments. It is a potentially dangerous condition occurring in only 1 in 30,000 spontaneous pregnancies. With the advent of Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART) and ovulation induction, the overall incidence of heterotopic pregnancy has risen to approximately 1 in 3,900 pregnancies. Other risk factors include a history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), tubal damage, pelvic surgery, uterine Mullerian abnormalities, and prior tubal surgery. Heterotopic pregnancy is a potentially fatal condition, rarely occurring in natural conception cycles. Most commonly, heterotopic pregnancy is diagnosed at the time of rupture when surgical management is required. Case. This paper represents two cases of heterotopic pregnancies as well as a literature review. Conclusion. Heterotopic pregnancy should be suspected in patients with an adnexal mass, even in the absence of risk factors. Clinicians must be alert to the fact that confirming an intrauterine pregnancy clinically or by ultrasound does not exclude the coexistence of an ectopic pregnancy. A high index of suspicion in women is needed for early and timely diagnosis, and management with laparotomy or laparoscopy can result in a favorable and successful obstetrical outcome.

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      Most cited references 34

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      Heterotopic pregnancy: two cases and a comparative review.

      To analyze the incidence, diagnostic, and therapeutic management of heterotopic pregnancy by comparing a review for the 1971-1993 period with the one carried out in the present study (1994-2004). Review of the literature. University teaching assisted reproductive technology (ART) center. Two case reports included in a comparative review of the literature on heterotopic pregnancy. Review of the published literature from January 1994 to December 2004 was performed by means of MEDLINE database. Medical subject heading words used were: heterotopic pregnancy, assisted reproductive technology, and ectopic pregnancy. A comparison with a previously reported review, including cases from 1971 to 1993. Comparative study of the diagnosis and treatment of ectopic pregnancy. During the 1971-1993 period the definitive diagnosis of heterotopic pregnancy was performed by laparoscopy or laparotomy in 59% of cases. This proportion increased to 74% from 1994 to 2004. Likewise, the percentage of cases in which an early diagnosis was possible (performed before the ninth week of pregnancy) did not vary in any of the time periods evaluated (71% vs. 74%). Despite the increased medical knowledge and use of improved reproductive technologies, heterotopic pregnancy still remains a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge to practitioners.
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        Ectopic pregnancy secondary to in vitro fertilisation-embryo transfer: pathogenic mechanisms and management strategies

        Background Ectopic pregnancy (EP) is the leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality during the first trimester and the incidence increases dramatically with in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer (IVF-ET). The co-existence of an EP with a viable intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) is known as heterotopic pregnancy (HP) affecting about 1% of patients during assisted conception. EP/HP can cause significant morbidity and occasional mortality and represent diagnostic and therapeutic challenges, particularly during fertility treatment. Many risk factors related to IVF-ET techniques and the cause of infertility have been documented. The combination of transvaginal ultrasound (TVS) and serum human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is the most reliable diagnostic tool, with early diagnosis of EP/HP permitting conservative management. This review describes the risk factors, diagnostic modalities and treatment approaches of EP/HP during IVF-ET and also their impact on subsequent fertility treatment. Methods The scientific literature was searched for studies investigating EP/HP during IVF-ET. Publications in English and within the past 6 years were mostly selected. Results A history of tubal infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease and specific aspects of embryo transfer technique are the most significant risk factors for later EP. Early measurement of serum hCG and performance of TVS by an expert operator as early as gestational week 5 can identify cases of possible EP. These women should be closely monitored with repeated ultrasound and hCG measurement until a diagnosis is reached. Treatment must be customised to the clinical condition and future fertility requirements of the patient. In cases of HP, the viable IUP can be preserved in the majority of cases but requires early detection of HP. No apparent negative impact of the different treatment approaches for EP/HP on subsequent IVF-ET, except for risk of recurrence. Conclusions EP/HP are tragic events in a couple’s reproductive life, and the earlier the diagnosis the better the prognosis. Due to the increase incidence following IVF-ET, there is a compelling need to develop a diagnostic biomarker/algorithm that can predict pregnancy outcome with high sensitivity and specificity before IVF-ET to prevent and/or properly manage those who are at higher risk of EP/HP.
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          Management and outcome of 25 heterotopic pregnancies in Zhejiang, China.

           Y Yu,  W Xu,  Z. S. Xie (2014)
          To characterize general attributes of women with heterotopic pregnancy (HP) in order to establish an optimal management regimen.

            Author and article information

            1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, Bronx, NY 10451, USA
            2West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM), Lewisburg, WV 24901, USA
            3Department of Pathology, Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, Bronx, NY 10451, USA
            Author notes

            Academic Editor: Julio Rosa-e-Silva

            Case Rep Obstet Gynecol
            Case Rep Obstet Gynecol
            Case Reports in Obstetrics and Gynecology
            Hindawi Publishing Corporation
            19 June 2016
            : 2016
            27413561 4930808 10.1155/2016/2145937
            Copyright © 2016 Annika Chadee et al.

            This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Case Report

            Obstetrics & Gynecology


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