Can noninvasive diagnostic tools predict tubal rupture or active bleeding in patients with tubal pregnancy?

Ben W.J. Mol, Petra J. Hajenius, Simone Engelsbel, Willem M. Ankum, Fulco Van Der Veen, Douwe J. Hemrika, Patrick M.M. Bossuyt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To evaluate the ability of noninvasive diagnostic tools to predict tubal rupture and active bleeding in patients with tubal pregnancy. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Two large teaching hospitals in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Patient(s): Consecutively seen patients with suspected tubal pregnancy who were scheduled to undergo confirmative laparoscopy. Main Outcome Measure(s): Tubal rupture and/or active bleeding confirmed at laparoscopy. Result(s): Sixty-five (23%) of 288 patients had tubal rupture and/or active bleeding at laparoscopy. Abdominal pain, rebound tenderness on abdominal examination, fluid in the pouch of Douglas at transvaginal ultrasound examination, and a low serum hemoglobin level were independent predictors of tubal rupture and/or active bleeding. Pregnancy achieved with the use of IVF-ET and the presence of an ectopic gestational sac or an ectopic mass at ultrasound examination reduced the risk of tubal rupture. Abdominal pain was the most sensitive predictor, with a sensitivity of 95%. Conclusion(s): Because the nonsurgical management of tubal pregnancy should be used only when the risk of tubal rupture and/or active bleeding is low, it can be safely applied in only a limited number of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Noninvasive diagnosis
  • Tubal rupture

Cite this