Document Detail

Unruptured ovarian pregnancy following in-vitro fertilization: Missed diagnosis followed by successful laparoscopic management.
Jump to Full Text
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19562065     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
Ovarian pregnancy after in-vitro fertilization is rare and can be easily missed unless there is a high index of suspicion. Here we present such a case which was missed initially but was later successfully managed laparoscopically.
Narvekar Sa; Vijaykumar Pk; Shetty N; Gupta N; Ashwini Gb; Rao Ka
Related Documents :
18614275 - Pregnant woman presenting with a gross retroperitoneal mass: surgical treatment with ca...
18672645 - A case of ovarian endodermal sinus tumor diagnosed during pregnancy.
17505455 - Morphologic, endocrinologic and natural pregnancy assessment of intact and sliced ovari...
24566755 - Fetal fibronectin versus cervical length as predictors of preterm birth in twin pregnan...
20132415 - The contribution of kv7 channels to pregnant mouse and human myometrial contractility.
22468575 - Effectiveness of group psychotherapy for adult outpatients traumatized by abuse, neglec...
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of human reproductive sciences     Volume:  1     ISSN:  0974-1208     ISO Abbreviation:  J Hum Reprod Sci     Publication Date:  2008 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-06-29     Completed Date:  2011-07-14     Revised Date:  2013-05-23    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101473512     Medline TA:  J Hum Reprod Sci     Country:  India    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  39-41     Citation Subset:  -    
Bangalore Assisted Conception Center, #6/7, Kumara Krupa, High Grounds, Bangalore - 560 001, India.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Full Text
Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): J Hum Reprod Sci
Journal ID (publisher-id): JHRS
ISSN: 0974-1208
ISSN: 1998-4766
Publisher: Medknow Publications, India
Article Information
? Journal of Human Reproductive Sciences
Received Day: 03 Month: 1 Year: 2008
Revision Received Day: 11 Month: 2 Year: 2008
Accepted Day: 11 Month: 2 Year: 2008
Print publication date: Season: Jan?Jun Year: 2008
Volume: 1 Issue: 1
First Page: 39 Last Page: 41
ID: 2700676
PubMed Id: 19562065
Publisher Id: JHRS-01-39

Unruptured ovarian pregnancy following in-vitro fertilization: Missed diagnosis followed by successful laparoscopic management
Narvekar SAAF0001
VijayKumar PKAF0001
Shetty NAF0001
Gupta NAF0001
Ashwini GBAF0001
Rao KAAF0001
Bangalore Assisted Conception Center, #6/7, Kumara Krupa, High Grounds, Bangalore - 560 001, India
Correspondence: For correspondence: Dr. Sachin A Narvekar, Fellow in Reproductive Medicine, Bangalore Assisted Conception Center, #6/7, Kumara Krupa, High Grounds, Bangalore - 560 001, India. E-mail:

Although the incidence of ectopic pregnancy is on the rise, ovarian pregnancy after in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) is rare. Ovarian pregnancy accounts for 0.5-3% of all ectopic pregnancies[1] and the incidence of ovarian pregnancy after IVF has been reported to be 0.3%.[2] Here we report a case of unruptured ovarian pregnancy, following IVF-ET which was missed initially but later successfully managed laparoscopically.


The patient was 35-year-old with secondary infertility of 4 years. She had four natural conceptions, the first three of which were spontaneous first trimester abortions and the fourth a ruptured ectopic for which she underwent a laparotomy with right total salpingectomy.

She had regular cycles with normal hormonal profile. Her husband was detected to have mild asthenospermia. After four unsuccessful attempts at ovulation induction with intrauterine insemination, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with IVF was planned for her.

After luteal phase downregulation with leuprolide acetate (Lupride? Sun Pharmaceutical Halol, Gujarat India Ltd) and stimulation with recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (Recagon? Organon, Ireland Pvt Ltd), five oocytes were retrieved from the right ovary. The left ovary did not yield any follicles. Three eight-cell stage embryos were transferred on day 3 under ultrasound guidance about 1.5 cm away from the fundus using Edward-Wallace catheter (Simcare, West Sussex, UK) with 20 ?l of culture fluid.

On day 14 after ET, her serum ?hCG was 617.9 IU/l and on day 18, it increased to 4779.3 IU/l at which point the transvaginal scan revealed a thickened endometrium of 13 mm with multiple hemorrhagic corpora lutea in the right adnexa and small follicles in the left ovary. But we could not demonstrate any intra/extrauterine gestational sac. We decided to keep her under close observation for 48 h as she was asymptomatic and the initial rise in ?hCG appeared adequate if multiple intrauterine gestations were considered. On day 20 after ET, the ?HCG increased to 8350 IU/l. This time again, we could not demonstrate a gestational sac on scan. Hence we decided to perform a laparoscopy which revealed a bulky uterus with absent right tube and multiple hemorrhagic corpora lutea in the right ovary which was adhered to the lateral pelvic wall. The left tube and ovary were normal. There was 100 ml of straw colored fluid in the pouch of douglas (POD). Pregnancy could not be visualized elsewhere in the abdomen.

The patient was subsequently followed up with ?hCG which showed a steady rise from 11,719 IU/l on 24th day to 22,443 on 28th day and then plateaued to 26,529 on day 30 of embryo transfer. At this point, a transvaginal scan was performed which revealed a gestational sac with a thick echogenic rim and a live fetus corresponding to 7 weeks within the substance of the right ovary. The patient now complained of bleeding PV, but no abdominal pain.

We performed laparoscopy for the second time and excised the suspicious cysts and visually inspected each one of them but failed to identify any chorionic/fetal tissue. We then performed vaginal scan after filling the pelvis with saline to locate the pregnancy. The gestational sac was deeply seated within the right ovary which was adhered to the lateral pelvic wall close to the iliac vessels making selective excision of the sac difficult hence an oopherectomy was performed [Figure 1]. Histopathological examination confirmed the diagnosis of ovarian pregnancy. The patient had an uneventful recovery and is planned for IVF [Figure 2].


Ovarian pregnancy following IVF is rare and to our knowledge only 13 cases have been reported so far.[2, 3]

The Spiegelberg's criteria[4] for an ovarian pregnancy include: (1) fallopian tubes, including fimbria, must be intact and separate from the ovary, (2) the pregnancy must occupy the normal position of the ovary, (3) the ovary must be attached to the uterus through the uteroovarian ligament, and (4) there must be ovarian tissue attached to the pregnancy in the specimen.

Our case did not meet the first criterion, as she had undergone an ipsilateral salpingectomy, but satisfied the rest.

This form of implantation could be the result of reverse migration of the embryo as a result of deep deposition of the embryo into the uterine cavity[5] or the use of large volume of culture fluid during transfer.[6] The presence of tubal pathology and pelvic inflammatory disease could also be the predisposing factors as with tubal pregnancies.

Ovarian pregnancy on sonography is typically described as a wide echogenic ring with a small internal echolucent area on the surface or within the substance of the ovary, the echogenicity of the ring usually being greater than the ovary.[7] A high degree of suspicion is needed, particularly in stimulated ovaries, wherein it can easily be mistaken for hemorrhagic corpora lutea. Doppler ultrasonography seems to offer little additional diagnostic value due to the high vascularity of the ovary.[7] In our case, we could identify the ovarian pregnancy only after the fetal pole appeared. The lesson that we learnt is that a thorough search by dissecting away the corpus luteum cysts at the time of laparoscopy should be done, to avoid missing an ovarian ectopic. An intraoperative vaginal scan aids in localization of the gestational sac within the ovary. Selective excision the gestational sac is the treatment of choice.[8]

There are few reports of successful use of systemic methotrexate in ovarian pregnancy.[9, 10] Successful treatment of ovarian pregnancy with 50-mg methotrexate injected into the ectopic sac at laparoscopy has also been reported.[11] Because of the limited literature available, unlike in tubal pregnancies, the factors predicting success with systemic methotrexate in ovarian pregnancy are not well defined.

We believe that laparoscopy remains the gold standard for diagnosis as well as treatment of ovarian pregnancy.


Source of Support: Nil

Conflict of Interest: None declared.

1. Raziel A,Golan A,Pansky M. Ovarian pregnancy: A report of twenty cases in one institutionAm J Obstet GynecolYear: 1990163118252220925
2. Marcus SF,Brinsden PR. Analysis of the incidence and risk factors associated with ectopic pregnancy following in-vitro fertilization and embryo transferHum ReprodYear: 1995101997745054
3. Carter JE,JAJacobson A. Reimplantation of a human embryo with subsequent ovarian pregnancyAm J Obstet GynecolYear: 19861552823740141
4. Spiegelberg O. Zur kasuistik der ovarialschwangerschaftArch GynaekolYear: 187813739
5. Pope CS,Cook EK,Arny M,Novak,Grow DR. Influence of embryo transfer depth on in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer outcomesFertil SterilYear: 20048151814711544
6. 6Zouves C,Erenus M,Gomel V. Tubal ectopic pregnancy after in-vitro fertilization and embryo transfer: A role for proximal occlusion or salpingectomy after failed distal tubal surgeryFertil SterilYear: 19915669151915944
7. Comstock C,Huston K,Lee W. The Ultrasonographic appearance of ovarian ectopic pregnanciesObstet GynecolYear: 200510542515625140
8. Einenkel J,Baier D,Horn LC,Alexander H. Laparoscopic therapy of an intact primary ovarian pregnancy with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: Case reportHum ReprodYear: 20001520374010967011
9. Kudo M,Tanaka T,Fujimoto S. A successful treatment of left ovarian pregnancy with methotrexateNippon Sanka Fujinka Gakkai ZasshiYear: 19884081132969025
10. Shamma FN,Schwartz LB. Primary ovarian pregnancy successfully treated with methotrexateAm J Obstet GynecolYear: 1992167130781442982
11. Mittal S,Dadhwal V,Baurasi P. Successful medical management of ovarian pregnancyInt J Gynecol ObstetYear: 20038030910


[Figure ID: F0001]
Figure 1 

Microscopic view showing degenerating chorionic villi (45?)

[Figure ID: F0002]
Figure 2 

Laparoscopic view showing multiple hemorrhagic corporalutea with the ovarian pregnancy buried within

Article Categories:
  • Case Report

Keywords: In-vitro fertilization, laparoscopy, ovarian pregnancy.

Previous Document:  Heterotopic pregnancy in natural conception.
Next Document:  Assessing tubal damage.