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Risk factors for rupture in tubal ectopic pregnancy: definition of the clinical findings.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to determine the risk factors for rupture of an ectopic pregnancy (EP) to help physicians identify those women who are at greatest risk.

STUDY DESIGN: The study group comprised the cases of EP treated in our department from January 2003 to September 2009. The following parameters were retrospectively examined: rupture status, past history of pelvic infection or EP, use of an intrauterine device (IUD), parity and gestational age. Women with tubal rupture were compared to those without rupture. Where appropriate, univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify predictors of the outcome of EP.

RESULTS: Two hundred and thirty-two cases of EP were retrieved. Eighty-eight of them (37.9%) were cases with ruptured EP and 144 (62.1%) were cases with unruptured EP. No significant associations existed regarding IUD use, smoking, previous ectopic pregnancy, past history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or history of endometriosis. The mean gestation (in weeks) since the last menstrual period and the mean level of βhCG were significantly higher in patients with ruptured EP compared with patients with unruptured EP (7.8 ± 1.09 versus 6.4 ± 1.2, p < 0.0001; and 8735.3 ± 11317.8 IU/ml versus 4506 ± 5673.7 IU/ml, p < 0.0001, respectively). Logistic regression analysis revealed that 6-8 weeks of amenorrhoea (OR: 3.67; 95% CI: 1.60-8.41) and >8 weeks of amenorrhoea (OR: 46.46; 95% CI: 14.20-152.05) and also 1501-5000 IU/ml of βhCG level (OR: 4.11; 95% CI: 1.53-11.01) and >5000 IU/ml of βhCG levels (OR: 4.40; 95% CI: 1.69-11.46) were the significant risk factors for tubal rupture.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher βhCG levels and higher gestational age seem to be significant risk factors for rupture of an EP.

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