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May 25, 1984

Embryo Transfer and Ectopic Pregnancy

Author Affiliations

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Newark

JAMA. 1984;251(20):2660. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340440020015

To the Editor.—  The important article of Dr Gary D. Hodgen1 describing surrogate embryo transfer in monkeys mentions the unexpected demise of one of the donors from tuboovarian ectopic pregnancy. Much to his credit, the author did not dismiss this observation, obviously unrelated to the field of his primary interest, but discussed it in some detail and aptly concluded that most likely "it was a result of the procedure" that involved retrograde lavage of the reproductive tract during the process of collecting ova. He attributed, therefore, the ectopic displacement and implantation of the ovum to "retrograde flow."In the light of this interesting observation, it deserves mention that the first successful attempt by Steptoe and Edwards2 of reimplanting an ovum fertilized in vitro resulted in tubal implantation under circumstances similar to those described by Dr Hodgen. The mechanism itself that he held responsible for the accidental ectopic implantation