Beta-HCG may predict surgery for ectopics

Researchers told the recent Royal Australian and NZ College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists annual scientific meeting in Canberra that a small study demonstrated methotrexate could be safely used in treatment of ectopic pregnancy – with beta-HCG levels the only variable in predicting a need for surgery.

“We know that the higher the beta-HCG level is, the higher the chance of needing surgery or the higher the risk of rupture in ectopic pregnancy,” said study author Dr Joyce Wu, an obstetrics and gynaecology registrar at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney.

“We do know a little bit [from previous research] but no one is sure what the safest limit is under which we can give the methotrexate.”

Dr Wu and her team conducted a retrospective cohort study of 118 patients receiving a single dose of intramuscular