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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Feb;204(2):130.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2010.11.021.

Utility of dilation and curettage in the diagnosis of pregnancy of unknown location.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA.



We sought to determine utility of uterine evacuation for diagnosis of nonviable pregnancy of unknown location (PUL).


We conducted a cohort study to assess the prevalence of ectopic pregnancy (EP), overall, and stratified by presenting signs and symptoms in women with a nonviable PUL.


Of the 173 women, 66 (38%) had miscarriage (spontaneous abortion [SAB]) and 107 (62%) had EP. When initial human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was <2000 mIU/mL, the odds of an EP were greater (odds ratio, 4.32; 95% confidence interval, 2.04-9.12). Demographic factors, obstetric history, and clinical presentation were not useful in distinguishing between EP and SAB. Pre-evacuation hCG increase had strong trend association with EP (odds ratio, 2.14; 95% confidence interval, 0.98-4.68). A >30% fall in postcurettage hCG was suggestive, but was not a diagnostic indicator of SAB.


Uterine evacuation is a useful diagnostic aid for women with nonviable PUL. Nondiagnostic ultrasound findings and absolute and serial hCG values are associated with, but do not accurately predict final diagnosis.

Copyright © 2011. Published by Mosby, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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