Vital signs fail to correlate with hemoperitoneum from ruptured ectopic pregnancy

John L. Hick, Jeff D. Rodgerson, William G. Heegaard, Steven Sterner

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12 Scopus citations


The objective was to determine correlation between vital signs and hemoperitoneum in ruptured ectopic pregnancy. A retrospective chart review of ectopic pregnancies at our urban county hospital between 1990 and 1998 was conducted. Fifty-one cases met inclusion criteria. Mean minimum systolic blood pressure (SBP) 89mmHg (range 40-118), mean maximum heart rate (HR) 101 beats/min (range 62-156). Mean volume of hemoperitoneum 1,050 mL (range 400-2,000 mL). Correlation between vital signs and volume of hemoperitoneum was poor (R2=0.04 for HR, R2=0.1 for SBP). Association of tachycardia with hypotension was also poor (R2=0.1). Extreme individual variations were observed. If surgical decisions were made on the basis of hypotension, 38% of patients could have received either inappropriate additional studies or surgical approach. Patients with normal vital signs had a 20% chance of having class IV blood loss at surgery. HR and blood pressure do not correlate well with volumes of hemoperitoneum from ruptured ectopic pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)488-491
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Hemoperitoneum
  • Hemorrhagic shock


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