Conservative cesarean scar pregnancy treatment: local methotrexate injection followed by hysteroscopic removal with hysteroscopic tissue removal system

Article In Press

Like Comment
Related Content

Authors:

Paolo Casadio, M.D., Marco Ambrosio, M.D., Ludovica Verrelli, M.D., Paolo Salucci, M.D., Alessandro Arena, M.D., Renato Seracchioli, M.D.

Abstract:

Objective

To describe a conservative cesarean scar pregnancy (CSP) treatment in a patient with the desire for future pregnancy. To date, there is no gold standard for the management of a viable CSP. There is a wide range of treatment options that include major surgery and minimally invasive procedures. Moreover, after a minimally invasive treatment, the gestational sac may be visible at ultrasound for >6 months. The described technique may be useful to avoid complications related to the use of energy with a large reduction in operative times.


Design

Description of the technique with narrated video footage.


Setting

Academic tertiary hospital.


Patient(s)

A 31-year-old woman with a previous cesarean section was referred to our clinic with lower abdominal pain. Transvaginal ultrasound revealed a gestational sac with a viable embryo located in the anterior isthmic region, suggestive of CSP at 9 weeks of gestation. Appropriate counseling describing the two diametrically opposite clinical management options was performed, and the patient decided to terminate the pregnancy. Informed consent was obtained from the patient.


Intervention(s)

Hysteroscopy was performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting, using a 2.9-mm Hopkins II Forward-Oblique Telescope 30° endoscope (Karl Storz, Tuttlingen, Germany) with a 4.3-mm inner sheath and 5F instruments. A 3.7F needle (Deflux metal needle; Oceana Therapeutics, Edison, NJ) was pushed into the myometrial tissue surrounding the implantation site of the gestational sac at four different points. Six additional injections were performed into the gestational sac, and 50-mg methotrexate was injected. The appropriate follow-up was performed to determine the success of the procedure. β-Human chorionic gonadotropin was dosed weekly until negative. After 6 weeks, to remove the avascular trophoblastic remnants found at ultrasound evaluation, the patient underwent hysteroscopic removal with a 6-mm TruClear hysteroscopic tissue removal system (Medtronic Parkway, Minneapolis, MN). A contemporary transabdominal ultrasound was performed to minimize surgical risks.


Main Outcome Measure(s)

Complete and conservative CSP treatment with the absence of surgical complications.


Result(s)

Conservative cesarean scar pregnancy treatment was performed successfully with primary local methotrexate injection followed, after 6 weeks, by hysteroscopic removal of the CSP remnants with the TruClear hysteroscopic tissue removal system. The first procedure lasted 6 minutes, whereas hysteroscopic removal of the CSP lasted 5 minutes. Both procedures were performed in an outpatient setting, and no complications were detected during and after the treatments. The patient reported good health at the 1-month follow-up visit, and the ultrasound showed an empty isthmocele (Fig. 1).


Conclusion(s)

Primary local methotrexate injection followed by hysteroscopic removal of the CSP remnants with the hysteroscopic tissue removal system may be a valuable treatment for women who desire pregnancy in the near future. This combined technique may avoid potential complications, such as thermal-induced myometrial injuries or uterine perforation. Moreover, the operator has the possibility to perform an under-vision procedure with a lower incidence of intraoperative and postoperative bleeding. Because it does not reduce fertility/pregnancy rate, this technique should be a valid option in patients who desire future pregnancy.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.