Spontaneous hemoperitoneum in pregnancy (SHiP) and endometriosis — A systematic review of the recent literature

Marit C.I. Lier, Romana F. Malik, Johannes C.F. Ket, Cornelis B. Lambalk, Ivo A. Brosens, Velja Mijatovic

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61 Citations (Scopus)


Spontaneous Hemoperitoneum in Pregnancy (SHiP), an unprovoked (nontraumatic) intraperitoneal bleeding in pregnancy (up to 42 days postpartum), is associated with serious adverse pregnancy outcomes. To evaluate the clinical consequences of SHiP and its association with endometriosis, a systematic review was conducted according to the PRISMA guidelines. PubMed, Embase.com and Thomson Reuters/Web of Science were searched for articles published since the latest review (August 2008) until September 2016. After assessment for eligibility, forty-four articles were included in this systematic review, describing 59 cases of SHiP. Endometriosis was present in 33/59 cases (55.9%), most often diagnosed prior to pregnancy. An association between the severity of SHiP and the stage of endometriosis could not be found. In the majority of cases, SHiP occurred in the third trimester of pregnancy (30/59 cases (50.8%)); women presented with (sub)acute abdominal pain (56/59 cases (94.9%)), hypovolemic shock (28/59 cases (47.5%)) and/or a decreased level of hemoglobin (37/59 cases (62.7%)). Signs of fetal distress were observed in 24/59 cases (40.7%). Imaging confirmed free peritoneal fluid in (37/59 cases (62.7%)). At time of surgery active bleeding was revealed in 51/56 cases (91,1%), originating from endometriotic implants (11/51 cases (21.6%)), ruptured utero-ovarian vessels (29/51 cases (56.8%)), hemorrhagic nodules of decidualized cells (1/51 cases (2.0%)) or a combination (10/51 cases (19.6%)). Median amount of hemoperitoneum was 1600 mL (IQR 1000mL–2500 mL). From the 45/59 cases (76.3%) in which surgical interventions was carried out during pregnancy, 7/45 cases (15.6%) reported a successful continuation of pregnancy. 5/59 cases reported recurrence of SHiP (recurrence rate 8.5%). The perinatal mortality rate was 26.9% (18/67 fetus), one maternal death was reported (1/59 cases (1,7%)). In conclusion, SHiP is a very serious complication of pregnancy, highly associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and particularly relevant to women with endometriosis. Currently preventive measures are lacking, therefore increasing the awareness and recognition of SHiP is crucial to improve pregnancy outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-65
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Endometriosis
  • Hemoperitoneum
  • Pregnancy

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