COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Serum progesterone testing to predict ectopic pregnancy in symptomatic first-trimester patients

R G Buckley, K J King, J D Disney, R H Riffenburgh, J D Gorman, J H Klausen
Annals of Emergency Medicine 2000, 36 (2): 95-100
10918099

STUDY OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted to prospectively measure the accuracy of serum progesterone levels to detect ectopic pregnancy.

METHODS: Seven hundred sixteen symptomatic first-trimester emergency department patients with abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding at a tertiary care military teaching hospital had progesterone levels measured by radioimmunoassay with results unavailable to the treating physician. All patients were monitored until a criterion standard diagnosis of intrauterine pregnancy or ectopic pregnancy was confirmed.

RESULTS: A 14-month derivation phase (n=399) used receiver operating characteristic curve testing to select a cutoff value of progesterone less than 22 ng/mL. A 12-month validation phase (n=317) then retested this cutoff value. Combining both phases, there were 434 (61%) viable intrauterine pregnancies, 229 (32%) nonviable intrauterine pregnancies, and 52 (7. 3%) ectopic pregnancies, of which 17 were ruptured. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive values, and negative predictive values (95% confidence intervals) for progesterone levels less than 22 ng/mL to detect ectopic pregnancy were 100% (94% to 100%), 27% (23% to 30%), 10% (7% to 12%), and 100% (98% to 100%), respectively.

CONCLUSION: Given similar disease prevalence, roughly one fourth (178/716) of symptomatic patients can be classified as low risk (0%, 95% confidence interval 0 to 2%) for having an ectopic pregnancy using a progesterone cutoff of 22 ng/mL. Whether implementation of rapid progesterone testing can safely expedite care and reduce the need for urgent diagnostic evaluation or admission remains to be determined.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
10918099
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"