Abnormal placentation

Ectopic pregnancy

Last author update: 1 October 2011
Last staff update: 28 October 2020

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PubMed Search: Ectopic pregnancy [title] placenta

Mandolin S. Ziadie, M.D.
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Cite this page: Ziadie MS. Ectopic pregnancy. website. Accessed May 19th, 2024.
Definition / general
  • Implantation of the embryo outside of the uterine cavity including within the tubes (90%), abdomen and the cornua of the uterus
  • Occurs in 1/150 pregnancies
  • Tubal pregnancies are the most common cause of hematosalpinx due to rupture which is a medical emergency and diagnosed with ultrasound, serum hCG and laparoscopy
  • Bleeding is sometimes due to placental separation without rupture
  • 50% are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease or peritubal adhesions (due to appendicitis, endometriosis, surgery and leiomyomas)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Though not extensively studied, reports indicate a high prevalence of placenta accreta and percreta, to which tubal rupture is attributed
  • Placentas from abdominal pregnancies have been described as highly vascular with markedly diminished / absent decidua
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