An Appraisal of the Management of Ectopic Pregnancy in a Nigerian Tertiary Hospital

Author(s): Igwegbe AO, Eleje GU, Okpala BC

Background: Ectopic pregnancy has remained a significant cause of maternal morbidity and mortality especially in the sub Saharan Africa. A periodic appraisal of its management is paramount. Aim: To determine the incidence and associated risk factors, for ectopic pregnancy, review available treatment modalities and suggest interventions to reduce its prevalence, morbidity and mortality. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study with retrolective data collection of all cases of ectopic pregnancy managed in Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, south‑east Nigeria between 1st January, 2002 and 31st December, 2011 was undertaken. Analysis was carried out using Epi‑info 2008 version 3.5.1. Results: During the study period, there were a total 98 cases of ectopic pregnancies out of 8,811 deliveries and 1884 gynecological admissions, giving an incidence of 0.9% of all attendants or 1 in 90 deliveries and 5.2% of all gynecological admissions. Only 94.9% (93/98) case files were retrieved and were used in the final analysis. The mean age of the patients was 30.1 (0.7) years while the mean gestational age at presentations was 7.4 weeks. Previous induced abortion, 37.5% (36/93) was the commonest associated risk factor, followed by pelvic infections, 35.5% (33/93). The recurrence rate was 6.5% (6/93). Majority, 80.6% (75/93) presented with abdominal pain and 35.8% (33/93) presented with vaginal bleeding. Up to 88.2% (82/93) had salpingectomy while only 2.5% (2/93) were successfully managed medically with methotrexate therapy following diagnosis with transvaginal ultrasound Missed diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy occurred in 16.1% (15/93). There was no maternal death. Conclusion: Ectopic pregnancy has remained an important gynecological condition in our center. The common identifiable risk factors were induced abortion and pelvic infection. Early first trimester transvaginal ultrasound should be offered to all women for early diagnosis.


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