Role of serum β-hcg doubling in diagnosis of early pregnancy and its management strategy

Divya Mirji, Shubha Rao, Akhila Vasudeva, P. S. Roopa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pregnancy of unknown location (PUL) is defined as the absence of intrau-terine or extrauterine sac and Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotropin levels (β-HCG) above the discriminatory zone of 1500 mIU/ml. It should be noted that PUL is not always an ectopic; however, by measuring the trends of serum β-HCG, we can determine the outcome of a PUL. Objective: This study aims to identify the various trends of β-HCG levels in early pregnancy and evaluate the role of β-HCG in the management strategy. Methods: We conducted a prospective observational study of pregnant women suspected of early pregnancy. Cases were classified as having a pregnancy of unknown location (PUL) by transvaginal ultrasound and ß-HCG greater than 1000 mIU/ml. Expectant management was done until there was a definite outcome. All the collected data were analyzed by employing the chi-square test using SPSS version 20. Results: Among the 1200 women who had early first trimester scans, 70 women who fulfilled our criteria of PUL and ß-HCG > 1000 mIU/ml were recruited in this study. In our study, the mean age of the participants was 30±5.6yrs, and the overall mean serum ß-HCG was 3030±522 mIU/ml. The most common outcome observed was an ectopic pregnancy, 47% in our study. We also found that the rate of failing pregnancy was 27%, and that of intrauterine pregnancy (IUP) was 25%. Overall, in PUL patients diagnosed with ectopic pregnancy, 9% behaved like IUP, and 4% had an atypical trend in their ß-HCG. Those who had an IUP, 11% had a suboptimal increase in ß-HCG. Conclusion: PUL rate in our unit was 6%. The majority of the outcome of PUL was ectopic in our study. Every case of PUL should be managed based on the initial ß-HCG values, clinical assess-ments and upon the consent of the patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Women's Health Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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