01.12.2004 | Original article | Ausgabe 12/2004
Hysteroscopy in the evaluation of patients with recurrent pregnancy loss: a cohort study in a primary care population
- G. Ventolini, M. Zhang, J. Gruber
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of structural uterine defects (SUD) in patients with recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) attending a large family medicine practice and to determine the effectiveness of the therapeutic intervention.
This prospective cohort study from October 1995 to October 1998 included 23 patients aged 23 to 35 years (mean, 28.1) with an otherwise unexplained history of three or more 1st- or 2nd-trimester miscarriages and no live births. None of the couples were tobacco or alcohol users, all of them and had normal cytogenetic examinations and testing. Their jobs were unrelated to chemical handling. All patients had a complete history taken and underwent physical examination and hysteroscopy with directed biopsy. They had normal values for complete blood count, sedimentation rate, urinalysis and culture (gonorrhea, Chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B, HIV), lupus anticoagulant, anticardiolipin antibodies, spermiogram, progesterone, and pelvic ultrasound.
Fourteen patients (60.9%) had a normal hysteroscopy (with biopsies). Nine patients (39.1 %) had SUD, as follows: Five patients (21.8%) had intrauterine adhesions, two patients (8.7%) had a septated uterus, one patient (4.3%) had submucosal myoma, and one patient (4.3%) had multiple factors. After appropriate therapy of the SUD, seven patients (77.8%) achieved successful pregnancy and two patients (22.2%) had recurrent miscarriage. In the normal hysteroscopy group, eight patients (57.1%) had recurrent miscarriages, two patients (14.3%) had infertility, and four patients (28.6%) achieved successful pregnancy with no further therapy.
The prevalence of SUD in our studied population was 39.1 %. After appropriate treatment, the rate of live-birth pregnancies in these patients was 77.8%. Because SUD are the most treatable cause of RPL, these patients should be identified early after other potential causes of RPL are eliminated.