As the surgical approach for ectopic pregnancies evolves from radical to conservative procedures, the potential hazard of persistent ectopic pregnancy has become increasingly pertinent. From September 1, 1986 to August 31, 1989, 11 women with persistent ectopic pregnancy after laparoscopic salpingostomy were diagnosed and treated at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Persistent ectopic pregnancy was suspected in nine cases because of symptoms and in two because of plateauing [beta]-hCG titers. Ten of 11 patients underwent repeat surgery. Eight had partial or complete salpingectomy of the involved ipsilateral tube, two had repeat salpingostomies, and one was treated with methotrexate. When the 11 women with persistent ectopic pregnancies were compared with 70 patients treated successfully by laparoscopic salpingostomy using multivariate stepwise logistic regression, smaller size of the ectopic (P<.01) and fewer days of amenorrhea (P<.05) predicted persistent ectopic pregnancy after laparoscopic salpingostomy. Based upon our experience, we believe that earlier-treated ectopic pregnancies (ie, fewer than 42 days of amenorrhea) and/or smaller ectopics (ie, 2.0 cm or less in diameter) require treatment with particular caution and close postoperative surveillance.
(C) 1990 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists