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Ultrasound in the Emergency Department Identifies Ectopic Pregnancy Post Hysterectomy: A Case Report

  • Author(s): Cohen, Allison;
  • Shi, Dorothy;
  • Keraney, Evan;
  • Stankard, Brendon;
  • Nelson, Mathew
  • et al.

Introduction: Ruptured ectopic pregnancy is one of the leading causes of maternal death. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has been shown to be highly sensitive for excluding ectopic pregnancy.Ectopic pregnancy after a hysterectomy is a rare but life-threatening occurrence. We present a case where POCUS helped to diagnose a post-hysterectomy ectopic pregnancy.

Case report: A 36-year-old female with a prior surgical history of hysterectomy without oophorectomy presented to the emergency department with lower abdominal pain. A POCUS revealed free fluid in the right upper quadrant with an unremarkable gallbladder. Subsequently, the pelvic POCUS noted free fluid as well as a heterogeneous structure in the right adnexa. The clinician ordered a serum beta human chorionic gonadotropin level, which was 173.2 international units per milliliter (lU/mL) (negative: < 5m IU/ml). Transvaginal ultrasound revealed a right adnexal echogenic structure with surrounding vascularity and moderate, complex free fluid suggestive of hemorrhage. Given the concern for possible ectopic pregnancy, obstetrics took the patient to the operating room where a right tubal ectopic pregnancy was confirmed.

Conclusion: A ruptured ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition that requires rapid diagnosis. Ectopic pregnancy post hysterectomy is an uncommon occurrence infrequently considered in the differential diagnosis of lower abdominal pain, leading to considerable delays in diagnosis. Although uncommon, emergency clinicians must consider this diagnosis in female patients with lower abdominal pain.

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