Aspiration and microscopy in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy

G. H. Lipscomb, K. Gildner, L. P. Shulman, M. Eltorky, M. L. McCord, F. W. Ling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare Karman cannula aspiration followed by dissecting microscopy with suction curettage and permanent histology in obtaining and identifying chorionic villi. Methods: Karman cannula aspiration was performed before standard curettage for failed intrauterine pregnancies (N = 22) or possible ectopic gestation (N = 24). Dissection microscopy for chorionic villi was performed on aspirates before submission for permanent histology. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of each method in obtaining and identifying villi was determined. Results: Overall, all methods were only moderately sensitive in detecting chorionic villi (50- 76%). If failed intrauterine pregnancies were excluded, all methods had poor sensitivity (25-64%). However, if villi were detected, the positive predictive value of all methods was high (> 80%). Conclusions: Karman cannula aspiration followed by dissecting microscope examination or permanent histology may offer an alternative to traditional curettage in the diagnosis of ectopic gestations. A larger trial to validate these findings seems justified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Dissecting microscopy
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Karman cannula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Aspiration and microscopy in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this