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East Afr Med J. 1993 Sep;70(9):535-9.

The value of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy at the Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi.

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  • 1Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.


Over a six-month-period, from 1st March 1988 to 30th September 1988, 127 patients suspected of having ectopic gestation at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) were referred for sonographic examination, of whom 100 (78.7%) had enough data for a final diagnosis. During sonography, ectopic pregnancy was diagnosed in 31 (31%) patients, out of whom 15 (48.4%) were confirmed to have ectopic gestation at laparotomy. Of the 69 who were thought to have other gynaecological disorders at sonographic examination, 2 (2.9%) were later found to have other ectopic gestation at surgery. Of the 17 patients who had ectopic gestation finally, extrauterine gestational sac with a demonstrable foetal pole were observed in only 6 (35.3%) cases, thus allowing a confident diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy by sonography. An empty, bulky uterus, demonstrable adnexal mass, pseudo-gestational sac and fluid in the culde-sac, together improved the sonographic positive predictive value to 67.0%. This study has shown that sonography can be used in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy at the KNH. However, in order to improve its reliability, further studies are recommended involving a combination of pregnancy test and sonography.

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