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Thia EWH, Loi K, Wang JJ, Siow A
Correspondence: Dr Anthony Siow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction Ectopic pregnancy is an acute emergency in the first trimester where surgery is the mainstay of treatment. With the advent of improved diagnostic techniques like high-resolution transvaginal ultrasonography and expedient serum human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) assay, ectopic pregnancy is now diagnosed early. At this stage, the conceptus is often small, causing minimal or no symptoms. Medical management may then present an appealing alternative to surgery. Methotrexate has been widely used to treat ectopic pregnancy. A methotrexate ectopic treatment protocol was introduced by the Minimally Invasive Surgery Centre at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore. We present the results of this treatment.
Methods A prospective review of 110 cases of medical management of ectopic pregnancy since the implementation of the treatment protocol was undertaken. Demographical data, clinical presentation, treatment progress and outcome were captured using a computer database. All patients were managed as outpatients, and a telephone call-out service was provided to ensure that treatment side effects were monitored and potential treatment failures were identified early.
Results From August 2003 to October 2006, 93 (84.5 percent) patients with ectopic pregnancy were successfully treated with intramuscular methotrexate. 16 patients eventually required surgery and only one patient defaulted on follow-up. There was no major side effect detected in this cohort. The minor side effects reported included mucositis (19.1 percent) and abdominal pain (28.2 percent).
Conclusion Methotrexate treatment of ectopic pregnancy is safe. Our treatment protocol enabled us to achieve a reasonable treatment success rate of 84.5percent.
Singapore Med J 2009; 50(11): 1058-1061