Evaluation of ectopic pregnancy by magnetic resonance imaging

M L Kataoka, K Togashi, H Kobayashi, T Inoue, S Fujii, J Konishi
Human Reproduction 1999, 14 (10): 2644-50
Patients (n = 37) suspected of ectopic pregnancy were prospectively evaluated with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging to assess the capability of MR imaging in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. Five levels of confidence were defined: diagnostic, suspicious, equivocal, questionable, and negative. Tubal wall enhancement and presence of tubal haematoma or gestational sac-like structure were considered diagnostic findings. There were 21 diagnostic, two suspicious, eight equivocal, and six negative findings. MR findings were compared with the surgical findings in 18 patients. Surgical confirmation was obtained in 12 diagnostic, two suspicious, and four equivocal studies. Using the MR diagnostic criteria for tubal pregnancy, MR had 12 true positive, three true negative, three false negative, and no false positive results for the diagnosis of tubal pregnancy. Retrospective analysis of the signal intensity of haematoma and ascites was performed for these 18 surgically confirmed cases. The predominant signal intensity of tubal haematoma was an intermediate signal on T1-weighted image (WI) and a low signal on T2WI. Ascites showed signal intensity higher than that of urine on T1WI in 100% of 13 cases. In conclusion, MR imaging with use of intravenous contrast material allows a specific diagnosis of tubal pregnancy, recognizing tubal wall enhancement and fresh tubal haematoma.

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