Should expectant management of heterotopic pregnancy be considered?

Aya Mohr-Sasson*, Mordechai Tamir, Dimitry Mugilevsky, Raanan Meyer, Roy Mashiach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Key message: Both expectant and interventional managements are acceptable in selected cases, when heterotopic pregnancy is diagnosed, with high ongoing intra-uterine pregnancy rate and term deliveries. Abstract: Purpose: Heterotopic pregnancy, though relatively rare, is potentially a life-threatening condition. The aim of the study is to compare expectant versus interventional management of heterotopic pregnancies. Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study including all women diagnosed with heterotopic pregnancy on ultrasound from March 2011 to December 2020 in a single medical center. Expectant and interventional management outcomes were compared. Primary outcome was defined as live birth. Results: Forty-one women were diagnosed with heterotopic pregnancy during the study period. Management was expectant in 10 (24.4%) and interventional in 31 (75.6%) of the women. Expectant management was considered when the patient was stable, and the attending physician decided that the ectopic pregnancy did not continue to develop. Interventions included laparoscopic salpingectomy (n = 26), laparoscopic cornual resection (n = 2), laparotomic cornual resection (n = 1) and gestational sac aspiration (n = 2). The intra-uterine pregnancy continued to develop in 6 (60.0%) and 22 (81.5%) of the women in the expectant and interventional groups, respectively (p = 0.52). All women managed expectantly reached term delivery, as opposed to 17/22 (77.3%) in the intervention management group (p = 0.60). Multivariate analysis found serum β-hCG level as the only independent parameter associated with ongoing pregnancy rate (B = 0.001, p = 0.04). Conclusions: Both expectant and interventional management were found to be acceptable when heterotopic pregnancy was diagnosed, with high ongoing intra-uterine pregnancy rate and term deliveries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1133
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Expectant management
  • Heterotopic pregnancy
  • Laparoscopy


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