Sonographic diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy:
Ectopic pregnancy is a condition, wherein, the embryo (the baby in its earliest stage), is implanted outside the uterine cavity. The commonest location is inside the fallopian tube. As the fallopian tube cannot support the growing fetus, there is a danger of the sac (containing the embryo), rupturing with bleeding into the abdomen. Ectopic pregnancy is thus a potentially lethal condition. It should be suspected in any sexually active woman who complains of missed periods, pain in the lower abdomen (usually towards one side), and unexplained bleeding per vagina. Any such patient should immediately undergo serum -HCG and an ultrasound scan. Ultrasound diagnosis of ectopic is based on 1)absence of a gestation sac in the uterine cavity 2) presence of a gestation sac outside the uterus (usually to the right or left of the uterus ie: the adnexal regions). 3) The actual demonstration of a live embryo with heart beats is rarely possible. 4) There is usually a collection of free fluid or blood in the adjacent parts of the pelvis.
At my site: Diagnostic ultrasound gallery
I have described one such case wherein a live embryo of 7 weeks is seen in the right adnexal region. See page: http://drjoea.googlepages.com/obstetric-2
The high resolution images on the page leave no doubt about the diagnosis.Also see my blog at: http://drjoea.bloglanding.com/?method=comments&postid=12675#
Dr. Joe Antony, MD.