Early warning breakthrough on ectopic pregnancies gives hope to thousands of women

An early warning, breakthrough test was reported in The Daily Mail, on the 7th May 2008.

The new diagnosis is based on testing for eight special “markers” in the blood, which show up at between four and six weeks into a pregnancy

The team of doctors who have developed the test include Adeyemi Coker, a pregnancy expert, and biochemist Dr Kevin Spencer who also pioneered an early test for Downs Syndrome.

Trials of the test have already been conducted with women who have suffered an ectopic pregnancy.

Speaking on behalf of the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust , Helen Wilkinson, Marketing and Services Director said, “The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust welcomes any test that can accurately detect ectopic pregnancy because early diagnosis helps widen the choice for management and treatment of the condition and can help to preserve the life of the mother and her future fertility.

Ectopic Pregnancy can be difficult to diagnose because it can present in so many ways and can mimic the symptoms of other illnesses.

The tests currently available can give inconclusive results depending upon how early the ultrasound can be performed and the wide difference in the hormone levels of an early pregnancy – so any test that can help to make the diagnosis of this life threatening condition accurately and within a short time frame is, potentially, a very exciting development.

The effect of an ectopic pregnancy on a family can be devastating – not only do women lose their baby; they often have to be treated by the hospital as an emergency case.
The whole process, once the urgency of the condition is realised, is very frightening for all concerned.”

The test is expected to be available on the NHS within a year.