Vol 80, No 5 (2009)

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Ruptured ectopic pregnancy mimicking acute pancreatitis

Mikołaj Romanczuk, Kryspin Mitura
Ginekol Pol 2009;80(5).


Abstract Introduction: Ectopic pregnancy may lead to massive haemorrhage, infertility or death. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial to save patients who would otherwise die. Serum amylase and lipase measurements are known biochemical markers of pancreatic inflammation and a recognized finding that may help diagnose acute pancreatitis. To the best of our knowledge (Medline, Pubmed, Cochrane Library have been researched) the following study presents the first case of ruptured ectopic pregnancy accompanied by markedly elevated amylase and lipase levels mimicking acute pancreatitis ever reported. Case Report: A previously healthy, nulliparous 35-year-old woman was admitted to hospital with a 2-day history of abdominal pain and vomiting. Her last menstrual period was 7 weeks before presentation. At the admission, the patient was hemodynamically stable. The abdomen was soft with tenderness in its mesogastric area. Blood tests revealed markedly elevated activities of the pancreatic enzymes. Acute pancreatitis was the early clinical diagnosis and subsequent therapy was initiated. After 12 hours the condition of the patient suddenly worsened. She was clinically shocked with pallor, hypotension and tachycardia. Laboratory tests revealed anaemia and increased activities of pancreatic enzymes. An ultrasound examination demonstrated an accumulation of intraperitoneal fluid in the pelvis. Subsequently, the patient was subjected to immediate laparotomy. The peritoneal cavity contained large amount of blood. A cystic mass was found and extracted from the ruptured and bleeding right fallopian tube. Histological examination confirmed a rupture of an ectopic pregnancy of a 6-week-old foetus with an intact gestational sac. The patient made an uneventful recovery and was discharged from hospital after 8 days. Conclusions: Our case proves that a misdiagnosed ruptured ectopic pregnancy in the event of elevated activities of pancreatic enzymes may lead to delayed diagnosis of haemorrhage to peritoneum, resulting in hemodynamic instability.

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