Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Researchers have found osteopathic structural examinations, or OSE, can successfully identify the location of an ectopic pregnancy to improve maternal outcomes.
The study showed OSE can be used to determine whether an ectopic pregnancy is located in the fallopian tubes, ovaries or abdomen in a non-invasive way.
"This is a very standard, basic procedure for any osteopathic physician, so no additional training is needed to make this widely used," Martingano said.
Ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus. It accounts for nearly 2 percent of all pregnancies in North America and is the leading cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester.
"The vast majority of ectopic pregnancies occur within the fallopian tubes," Dr. Daniel Martingano, a resident at NYU School of Medicine and lead author of the study, said in a press release. "However, it can be difficult to locate them when they occur anywhere else, especially in a ruptured ectopic pregnancy."
Traditional imaging methods to detect an ectopic pregnancy can be obscured due to bleeding from a rupture leading to the need for invasive, exploratory surgery.