We investigated the sensitivity and specificity of serial serum hCG assays to diagnose early ectopic pregnancy in 50 asymptomatic women at risk. The initial two hCG values obtained at 2–5-day intervals were used to calculate doubling time and percentage increase. Twenty-five women had a viable intrauterine pregnancy, 14 an ectopic gestation, ten a spontaneous abortion, and one a molar pregnancy. A normal percentage increase and/or doubling time was observed in 64% of women who eventually proved to have an ectopic pregnancy. Ultimately, 85% of our patients demonstrated abnormal values when subsequent hCG pairs were analyzed. The sensitivity of these tests to diagnose asymptomatic ectopic pregnancy was 36%, with a specificity of 63–71%. We conclude that a normal rise in hCG production does not reliably differentiate an ectopic from an intrauterine pregnancy in the asymptomatic patient.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Obstetrics and Gynecology|
|Publication status||Published - 1990|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Obstetrics and Gynecology