Misdiagnosis of cervical ectopic pregnancy

Valerie I. Shavell, Mazen E. Abdallah, Mark A. Zakaria, Jay M. Berman, Michael P. Diamond, Elizabeth E. Puscheck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose 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. Methods Retrospective case series of 15 women treated for CEP from January 1997 through December 2008 at a university teaching hospital. Results 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. Conclusions Misdiagnosis of CEP upon initial presentation is a common occurrence. Transvaginal ultrasound performed by a qualified practitioner may increase detection and prevent treatment delay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-426
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical pregnancy
  • Diagnosis
  • Ectopic
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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