Published: 2021-11-22

Heterotropic pregnancy: a common masquerade than ever thought?

Ayodele A. Olaleye, Boniface N. Ejikeme, Eziaha E. S. Ede, Nwabunike E. Okeke, Bartholomew I. Olinya, Charles N. Edene, John C. Obasi, Emmanuel O. Onyekelu, Amuchechukwu V. Nwafor


Heterotopic pregnancy, coexistence of living or dead intrauterine pregnancy, single or multiple, with extra-uterine pregnancy located in the oviduct, ovary, uterine cornua, cervix or rarely peritoneal cavity. Heterotropic pregnancy is relatively uncommon in spontaneous conception with 1 in 30,000 cases reported, the incidence of heterotopic pregnancy increases to 1 in 3900 when conception is enhanced with various assisted reproduction techniques (ART). It is an ectopic pregnancy coexisting with intrauterine pregnancy. But is the incidence of heterotropic pregnancy rising? A case was reported from our centre in 2018 by Ejikeme et al, and we have recorded another two cases in the period of one year. Ectopic pregnancy has been described as a great masquerader, which makes diagnosis and management of heterotropic pregnancy a dilemma to attending physician. We present a case of an unbooked 26 years old G4P3+0 who has no family history of multiple gestation and presented at gestational age of 8 weeks and 5 days with 2 days history of abdominal pain and vaginal bleeding and 2 hours history of loss of consciousness. She later had exploratory laparotomy with left salpingectomy and manual vacuum aspiration of Retained Products of Conception with good outcome. In conclusion, spontaneous heterotropic pregnancy is a rare occurrence, however with advent of artificial reproductive technology and increase incidence of pelvic inflammatory disease, the incidence could be higher than earlier suspected.


Intra-uterine, Extra-uterine, Ectopic, Pregnancy, Heterotropic, Pelvic inflammatory disease

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