Authors: Maheux-Lacroix S, Li F, Bujold E, Nesbitt-Hawes E, Deans R, Abbott J.

Abstract: The objective of this systematic review was to assess the efficacy and safety of treatment options of cesarean scar pregnancies (CSPs). We searched MEDLINE, Embase, and the Cochrane Library from inception to June 2016 as well as reference lists. We included English publications reporting treatment outcomes of at least 10 cases of CSPs. Two authors screened for eligibility, extracted data, and assessed the quality of the included studies. Treatment was considered successful if no subsequent intervention was required after the index treatment. Of the 1257 citations identified, 63 studies were eligible. The overall success rate of systemic methotrexate (MTX) and/or local injection of MTX or potassium chloride was 62%. Dilation and curettage (D&C) was associated with a 28% risk of hemorrhage that dropped to 4% when combined with uterine artery embolization (UAE). Hysteroscopic resection of CSP was unsuccessful in 12% of cases, and inadequate human chorionic gonadotropin decay was the primary indication for additional intervention. Laparoscopic, vaginal, and open excision and repair of the defect were associated with a high success rate (≥96%) and a low risk of hemorrhage (≤4%). Expectant management resulted in a 57% live birth rate, but 63% of women required hysterectomy because of placental implantation abnormalities or second trimester uterine rupture. Most studies were of low methodologic quality, and given the heterogeneity between the studies and groups, statistical comparison of treatment options was deemed inappropriate. In conclusion, the decision to allow the progression of CSPs exposes women to a high risk of life-threatening hemorrhage and hysterectomy. Medical treatment options alone are often insufficient. D&C is a reasonable option in well-selected women or when combined with UAE. The potential benefits of excision and repair of scar defect on further pregnancy outcomes need to be further assessed.


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