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Hemorrhagic shock from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy in a patient with a negative urine pregnancy test result

Authors
Journal
Annals of Emergency Medicine
0196-0644
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
40
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1067/mem.2002.125446
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Ectopic pregnancy has been increasing in frequency over the past 2 decades. The sudden rupture of a fallopian tube caused by ectopic pregnancy can lead to hemorrhagic shock and death if not diagnosed and treated in a timely fashion. The emergency physician is often the health professional that is called on to make the diagnosis and coordinate timely and effective intervention. The first step in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy is demonstration of pregnancy by means of a rapidly performed and sensitive qualitative urine test for the β-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG). A negative urine pregnancy test result will generally be used to exclude ectopic pregnancy from further consideration. The following is a report of a patient presenting to an emergency department with hypovolemic shock in conjunction with 2 negative urine β-hCG analysis results and a quantitative serum β-hCG level of 7 mIU/mL, a value less than the lower limit of detection for the highly sensitive qualitative urine and serum tests. This case report demonstrates the importance of further consideration of the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy in the setting of a negative urine pregnancy test result. [Kalinski MA, Guss DA. Hemorrhagic shock from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy in a patient with a negative urine pregnancy test result. Ann Emerg Med. July 2002;40:102-105.]

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