Ultrasound in the Diagnosis of Ectopic Pregnancy

Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 04/24/2012

This review discusses the use of ultrasound in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy and the specific criteria for diagnosis of the different types of ectopic pregnancy.

  • The majority of ectopic pregnancies can be diagnosed on transvaginal scan before treatment.
  • Diagnosis should be based on positive visualization of an ectopic pregnancy rather the inability to visualize an intrauterine pregnancy.
  • The majority of ectopic pregnancies will be visible on the initial transvaginal scan performed.
  • Those who do not have their ectopic pregnancies visualized on the first examination will be initially classified as having a pregnancy of unknown location.
  • They will then need follow–up until a diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is confirmed.

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