Combined local and systemic methotrexate treatment of viable ectopic pregnancy: Outcomes of 31 cases

Noam Smorgick*, Zvi Vaknin, Moti Pansky, Reuvit Halperin, Arie Herman, Ron Maymon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Purpose. Medical treatment of viable unruptured ectopic pregnancies by systemic methotrexate (MTX) is controversial due to elevated failure rates. This study describes a combined local and systemic MTX administration and compares the outcomes between viable ectopics in different locations. Methods. This retrospective study evaluated 31 patients treated with combined local (sonographically guided) and systemic MTX for viable, unruptured ectopic pregnancies. Success was defined by pregnancy resolution without surgical intervention. Details on subsequent pregnancies were obtained via telephone questionnaires. Results. The ectopic pregnancies were located in the fallopian tube (n = 23), cesarean section scar (n = 5), and intramural portion of the tube (interstitial pregnancy) (n = 3). β-Human chorionic gonadotropin levels and gestational weeks were similar. The combined treatment was successful in 73.9%, 100%, and 66.7% of cases, respectively (p > 0.05). Details regarding reproductive outcomes were available for 28 women (90.3%). Eighteen of the 24 women attempting to conceive became pregnant, and 15 of these had at least one live birth. There were three subsequent tubal pregnancies, all in patients with previous tubal pregnancies. Conclusion. Combined MTX administration is effective and safe for treating viable cesarean scar pregnancies but is less successful for viable tubal or interstitial pregnancies. Reproductive outcomes following the combined MTX treatment are comparable to other treatment modalities for ectopic pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-550
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Ultrasound
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Methotrexate
  • Ultrasound
  • Viable ectopic pregnancy


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