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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2012 Feb;285(2):423-6. doi: 10.1007/s00404-011-1980-0. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

Misdiagnosis of cervical ectopic pregnancy.

Author information

  • 1Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit Medical Center, 60 W. Hancock Street, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. vshavell@med.wayne.edu



To determine the presenting symptoms as well as the frequency and reasons for the delayed diagnosis of cervical ectopic pregnancy (CEP) in order to increase detection and prevent treatment delay.


Retrospective case series of 15 women treated for CEP from January 1997 through December 2008 at a university teaching hospital.


Fifteen patients were treated for CEP during the study period. Eight patients presented to the emergency department, of which 6 (75%) were initially misdiagnosed. The most common misdiagnosis was threatened miscarriage (n = 5). All patients with accurately diagnosed CEP presented with heavy vaginal bleeding; those misdiagnosed reported mild to moderate vaginal bleeding. Three of six patients misdiagnosed did not have an ultrasound performed upon presentation, and three patients had an ultrasound report not suggestive of CEP. CEP was diagnosed on follow-up ultrasound, delaying treatment 1-4 days.


Misdiagnosis of CEP upon initial presentation is a common occurrence. Transvaginal ultrasound performed by a qualified practitioner may increase detection and prevent treatment delay.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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