Comparative Study
Journal Article
Observational Study
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Predictive factors for the methotrexate treatment outcome in ectopic pregnancy: A comparative study of 400 cases.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the global success rate of intramuscular methotrexate for the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, identify factors predictive of treatment success or failure, and study methotrexate tolerability in a large patient cohort.

STUDY DESIGN: For this single-center retrospective observational study, we retrieved the records of all women who had a clinically or echographically confirmed ectopic pregnancy with a Fernandez score <13 and who were treated according to a 1mg/kg intramuscular single-dose methotrexate protocol. Medical treatment failure was defined by an obligation to proceed to laparoscopy. Needing a second injection was not considered to be medical treatment failure.

RESULTS: Between February 2008 and November 2013 (69 months), 400 women received methotrexate for ectopic pregnancy. The medical treatment protocol was effective for 314 patients, i.e., an overall success rate of 78.5%. A single methotrexate dose was sufficient for 63.5% of the women and a second dose was successful for 73.2% of the remaining women. The medical treatment success rate fell as initial hCG levels climbed. The main factors associated with methotrexate failure included day (D) 0, D4 and D7 hCG levels, pretherapeutic blood progesterone, hematosalpinx at D0 and pain at D7. Early favorable kinetics of hCG levels was predictive of success. Methotrexate treatment was successful in 90% of women who had D0 hCG <1000IU/l. Methotrexate tolerability was good, with only 9% of the women reporting non-severe adverse effects. The fertility rate with delivery after medical treatment for ectopic pregnancy was 80.7%.

CONCLUSION: In this study, we showed that an initial hCG value <1000IU/l and favorable early HCG kinetics were predictive factors for the successful medical treatment of ectopic pregnancy by methotrexate, and hematosalpinx and pretherapeutic blood progesterone >5ng/ml at diagnosis were predictive of its failure. We also confirmed good tolerability for single-dose methotrexate protocols.

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