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  IN THIS Article
 ::  Abstract
 :: Introduction
 :: Case Report
 :: Discussion
 ::  References

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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 298-300

Laparoscopic cholecystectomy due to acute calculouscholecystitis in 16 weeks' in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer pregnancy: Report of the first case

1 Department of Surgery, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Kišpaticeva 12, Croatia
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Kišpaticeva 12, Croatia
3 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Clinical Hospital Center Sisters of Charity, Klaiceva 16, Zagreb, Croatia

Date of Submission06-Jul-2012
Date of Decision25-Aug-2012
Date of Acceptance12-Sep-2012
Date of Web Publication4-Jan-2013

Correspondence Address:
G Augustin
Department of Surgery, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Kišpaticeva 12
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.105455

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 :: Abstract 

The most common casues of acute abdomen during pregnancy are acute appendicitis followed by acute cholecystitis. The case presented is a 33-year-old patient in 16 weeks' in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer pregnacy who developed acute cholecystitis. Previously there were two unsuccessful cycles, one complicated with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. Due to clinical deterioration during intravenous antibiotic therapy laparoscopic cheolecystecomy was performed and acute cholecystitis found. The postoperative course was uneventful. During the first 24 h tocolysis with intravenous fenoterol in addition to peroral atenolol 2 Χ 50 mg was administered. Postoperative course was uneventuful with further normal pregnancy. Elective cesarean section was made in term pregnancy (39 weeks) with singleton with Apgar 10/10. Current guidelines do not recommend prophylactic tocolysis in pregnant population with acute abdomen but there is no mention of the IVF-ET subpopulation of patients. Also, there are no guidelines for thromboprophylaxis in such patients with increased risk of thromboembolic accidents. To our knowledge this is the first case report of a laparoscopic cholecystectomy during IVF-ET gestation.

Keywords: Cholecystitis, in vitro fertilization, laparoscopy, pregnancy, tocolysis

How to cite this article:
Augustin G, Vrcic H, Zupancic B. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy due to acute calculouscholecystitis in 16 weeks' in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer pregnancy: Report of the first case. J Postgrad Med 2012;58:298-300

How to cite this URL:
Augustin G, Vrcic H, Zupancic B. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy due to acute calculouscholecystitis in 16 weeks' in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer pregnancy: Report of the first case. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Oct 1];58:298-300. Available from:

 :: Introduction Top

In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer (IVF-ET) is prone to some serious obstetric and gynecologic complications during pregnancy, especially heterotopic pregnancy [1],[2] and injury of adjacent pelvic organs. [3] On the other hand, acute surgical conditions in normal pregnancy increase maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, due to the rare occurence of surgical acute abdomen in IVF-ET pregnant patients there are no recommendations and guidelines for such situations. To our knowledge there is no case report of a patient with acute cholecystitis during IVF-ET pregnancy treated with laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

 :: Case Report Top

A 33-year-old afebrile female, gravida 1 para0, was admitted to the Department of Internal Medicine due to one-day history of biliary colic. She did not have such symptoms previously. Her 16 weeks' pregnancy was induced by IVF-ET (third cycle) after five years of unsuccessful natural conception. One cycle was complicated with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome treated with heparin and albumin. Laboratory findings were as follows: White blood cells (WBC) 13.9 × 10 9 /L, C-reactive protein (CRP) 11 mg/L, Hgb 119 g/L. Alkaline phosphatase, gamma glutamyltranspherase, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase and total bilirubin levels were normal. Abdominal sonography revealed dilated gallbladder with multiple 5-mm calculi and 5-mm gallbladder wall. Fourteen years ago she had reactive arthritis on the second and third finger of her right hand due to cervical  Ureaplasma urealyticum Scientific Name Search treated with doxycycline. Her Body Mass Index (BMI) was 26 and she smoked till pregnancy for 16 years, 20 cigarettes a day (1-2 cigarettes a day in pregnancy) but did not drink alcoholic beverages and did not use medications or have any allergies. The next day due to increase in WBC to 18.9x10 9 /L and CRP to 45 mg/L a the temperature of 37.3°C, abdominal surgeon was consulted and due to clinical deterioration the operation was indicated, and the patient received intravenous cephazolin 1 g preoperatively.

Lower leg pneumatic compression device was placed prior to operation. Four-trocar laparoscopic cholecystectomy in left lateral tilt French position was performed which revealed dilated gangrenous gallbladder covered with greater omentum. The Hasson open technique was used for the insertion of the first 10-mm trocar supraumbilically (the uterine fundus was 2 cm below the umbilicus). The three other trocars were inserted in typical positions. Pneumoperitoneum was maintained with carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) for an average intraabdominal pressure of 12 mmHg. Harmonic scissors (produce vapor-free gas) were used, avoiding the potential effects of carbon monoxide. Gallbladder was distended with thickened edematous wall. After clipping division of cystic artery and cystic duct the gallbladder was removed and put in a plastic bag. After copious lavage the abdominal drain was inserted in subhepatic space and the specimen extracted through supraumbilical incision. The operation lasted 50 min. Opening of the gallbladder revealed multiple yellow (cholesterol) stones 5 mm in diameter. During the operation maternal CO 2 was monitored and was in normal range.

Immediately after completion of the operation the gynecologist recommended tocolysis for 24 h with intravenous fenoterol with addition of peroral atenolol 2×50 mg. There was no additional postoperative thromboprophylaxis. The drain was removed on the first postoperative day and during two days she received intravenous cephazolin 3×1 g and ketoprofen 3×100 mg. On the first postoperative day she started peroral feeding and had formed stool on the second postoperative day. The patient was afebrile and on the second postoperative day she was in good condition transferred to the Gynecology and Obstetrics Clinic for further pregnancy monitoring. Further pregnancy was normal and the patient had elective cesarean section during term pregnancy (39 th week) of a male singleton (breech presentation, 3880 g, 52 cm) with Apgar 10/10.

 :: Discussion Top

Around 1% of births is by assisted reproductive technology. [4] The complications of IVF may be related to the procedure itself or underlying problems that caused the subfertility, maternal age, obesity, hyperoestrogenism, and medical factors. Another group of complications are acute abdominal conditions during IVF pregnancy. Most case reports describe acute abdomen developing as a direct consequence of the procedure of IVF presenting in few hours to few days. There are only several case reports of localized or diffuse peritonitis in patients (weeks or months) after IVF pregnancy. These patients (case reports) could be divided into obstetric/gynecologic or surgical group. In the obstetric/gynecology group there were cases of ruptured pyosalpinx [5] and several cases of tubo-ovarian or pelvic abscesses, [6],[7],[8] and in the surgical group there were three cases of acute appendicitis. [9],[10],[11]

There is no published case (PubMed search) of laparoscopic cholecystectomy due to acute cholecystitis in a patient with IVF pregnancy. Authors' opinion is that some of the patients in the largest studies dealing with cholecystectomy (open and laparoscopic) in pregnancy might have had ovulation induction with IVF but that fact was not mentioned.

The case presented could imply that indications for emergency cholecystectomy should be the same as in non-pregnant and pregnant patients without ovulation induction therapy. The first question is should patients conceived with IVF receive prophylactic tocolysis in acute abdomen? Current recommendations (including Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons 2011 revised recommendations) are that tocolysis should be limited to obstetrical indications (premature contractions) and not administered prophylactically. But these recommendations do not include or specify IVF-ET pregnancies. Another question is should thromboprophylaxis be selective in IVF patients with acute abdomen and what is an adequate dose. Special concern, as in our patient, was previous ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome with higher incidence of thromboembolic incidents. [12] Our patient had lower leg pneumatic compression device prior to and during the operation without postoperative thromboprophylaxis.

 :: References Top

1.Tal J, Haddad S, Gordon N, Timor-Tritsch I. Heterotopic pregnancy after ovulation induction and assisted reproductive technologies: A literature review from 1971 to 1993. FertilSteril 1996;66:1-12.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Habana A, Dokras A, Giraldo JL, Jones EE. Cornualheterotopic pregnancy: Contemporary management options. Am J ObstetGynecol 2000;182:1264-70.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Bennett SJ, Waterstone JJ, Cheng WC, Parsons J. Complications of transvaginal ultrasound-directed follicle aspiration: A review of 2670 consecutive procedures. J Assist Reprod Genet 1993;10:72-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.European IVF-monitoring programme (EIM) for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), Andersen AN, Gianaroli L, Felberbaum R, de Mouzon J, Nygren KG. Assisted reproductive technology in Europe, 2002: Results generated from European registers by ESHRE. Hum Reprod 2006;21:1680-97.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Kihaile P, Misumi J, Utsunomiya T. Peritonitis after a ruptured left pyosalpinx in a patient undergoing in vitro fertilization. Fertil Steril 2003;79:1034-6.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Matsunaga Y, Fukushima K, Nozaki M, Nakanami N, Kawano Y, Shigematsu T, et al. A case of pregnancy complicated by the development of a tubo-ovarian abscess following in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Am J Perinatol 2003;20:277-82.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.den Boon J, Kimmel CE, Nagel HT, van Roosmalen J. Pelvic abscess in the second half of pregnancy after oocyte retrieval for in-vitro fertilization: Case report. Hum Reprod 1999;14:2402-3.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Biringer K, Zubor P, Visnovsky J, Danko J. Delayed delivery following unusual flare-up pelvic abscess after in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. Fertil Steril 2009;91:1956.e5-7.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Barnett A, Chipchase J, Hewitt J. Simultaneous rupturing heterotopic pregnancy and acute appendicitis in an in-vitro fertilization twin pregnancy. Hum Reprod 1999;14:850-1.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Daponte A, Spyridakis M, Ioannou M, Vanakara P, Tzovaras G, Hatzitheofilou K, et al. Live birth after laparotomy for concurrent heterotopic pregnancy and appendicitis in a 6 weeks IVF pregnancy. Arch Gynecol Obstet 2007;275:397-9.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Akman MA, Katz E, Damewood MD, Ramzy AI, Garcia JE. Perforated appendicitis and ectopic pregnancy following in-vitro fertilization. Hum Reprod 1995;10:3325-6.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Chan WS. The 'ART' of thrombosis: A review of arterial and venous thrombosis in assisted reproductive technology. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol 2009;21:207-18.  Back to cited text no. 12

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