Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 296, Issue 1, pp 85–92 | Cite as

Diagnosis and management of heterotopic pregnancy following embryo transfer: clinical analysis of 55 cases from a single institution

  • Jiangtao Lyu
  • Hong Ye
  • Weihua Wang
  • Yi LinEmail author
  • Wenjie Sun
  • Li Lei
  • Lijuan Hao
General Gynecology



The aims of this study were to summarize the clinical features of patients with heterotopic pregnancy (HP) following embryo transfer (ET) and explore the risk factors for miscarriage after surgery.


All patients with HP following ET treated by surgery between August 2014 and August 2015 in Chongqing Health Center for Women and Children were retrospectively reviewed.


Fifty-five patients were identified, including 40 with tubal HP, 9 interstitial HP and 6 cornual HP. The most frequent manifestations before diagnosis was abdominal pain (29.1%), while 19 patients (34.5%) had no symptoms before diagnosis. The sensitivity of symptoms for HP was 65.5%. Gestational age at symptom onset of these patients with symptoms (n = 36) was 5.8 weeks (range 4.7–8.1). Forty-seven patients (85.5%) were suspected of HP when they received first transvaginal ultrasonography (TVS). The mean gestational age at diagnosis was 6.3 weeks (range 4.7–8.3, 16–41 days after ET). First TVS suggesting HP (P = 0.000) and first TVS performed before day 27 (P = 0.000) were two independent predictors for gestational age at diagnosis. Gestational age at surgery day was 6.7 weeks (range 5.3–10.7). Fifty-one patients (92.7%) resulted in a live birth. Gestational age at surgery day was the only independent risk factor for miscarriage in patients with HP treated by laparotomy (OR 0.003, 95% CI 0.001–0.604).


Routine TVS at day 27 after ET could facilitate the diagnosis of HP, symptoms onset before or after day 27 are clues to early diagnosis. Prompt surgery after diagnosis may improve the prognosis of HP following ET.


Diagnosis Embryo transfer Heterotopic pregnancy Treatment 


Authors contribution

JL: Project development, Data Collection, Manuscript writing. HY: Data collection. Weihua Wang: Data analysis. YL: Project development, Data Collection, Manuscript editing. WS: Data collection. LL: Data collection. LH: Data collection

Compliance with ethical standards


This study had no funding.

Conflict of interest

Jiangtao Lyu declares that he has no conflict of interest. Hong Ye declares that she has no conflict of interest. Weihua Wang declares that he has no conflict of interest. Yi Lin declares that she has no conflict of interest. Wenjie Sun declares that she has no conflict of interest. Li Lei declares that she has no conflict of interest. Lijuan Hao declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Approval was not requested from the human institutional review board, since the study was a summary of information of diagnosis and treatment what was considered routine management at our hospital.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study, when they admitted to inpatient department.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Reproductive EndocrinologyChongqing Health Center for Women and ChildrenChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Chongqing Reproductive and Genetics InstituteChongqing Health Center for Women and ChildrenChongqingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Shaanxi Center for Disease Control and PreventionShaanxiPeople’s Republic of China

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