Hydatidiform mole - Clinicals, Diagnosis, and Management

Obstetrics

Clinicals - History

Fact Explanation
Vaginal bleeding in the first trimester Intermittent or irregular vaginal bleeding in the first trimester is the commonest presentation of hydatidiform mole. Vaginal bleeding in the first trimester
Intermittent or irregular vaginal bleeding in the first trimester is the commonest presentation of hydatidiform mole.
Abdominal pain Pain arises due to large benign theca-lutein cysts in the ovaries Abdominal pain
Pain arises due to large benign theca-lutein cysts in the ovaries
Vaginal passage of grape-like vescicles Can be the presenting feature in some patients with molar pregnancies Vaginal passage of grape-like vescicles
Can be the presenting feature in some patients with molar pregnancies
Severe nausea and vomiting Women with molar pregnancies tend to have severe nausea and vomiting which are attributed to the elevated hCG levels seen in such pregnancies. Severe nausea and vomiting
Women with molar pregnancies tend to have severe nausea and vomiting which are attributed to the elevated hCG levels seen in such pregnancies.
Thyrotoxicosis Features of thyrotoxicosis or hyperthyroidism is seen in some patients with a molar pregnancy. It is considered to be related to the high circulating levels of hCG. Thyrotoxicosis
Features of thyrotoxicosis or hyperthyroidism is seen in some patients with a molar pregnancy. It is considered to be related to the high circulating levels of hCG.

Clinicals - Examination

Fact Explanation
Uterus large for dates This is considered a classic feature of a molar pregnancy. Uterus large for dates
This is considered a classic feature of a molar pregnancy.
Distended abdomen Occurs due to presence of large theca lutein cysts in the ovaries Distended abdomen
Occurs due to presence of large theca lutein cysts in the ovaries
Dilated cervix May be seen during vaginal examination Dilated cervix
May be seen during vaginal examination
Uterus softer than normal Can be detected during bi-manual examination Uterus softer than normal
Can be detected during bi-manual examination
Partial expulsion of products of conception which resemble grapes, are seen on vaginal examination May be detected during vaginal examination Partial expulsion of products of conception which resemble grapes, are seen on vaginal examination
May be detected during vaginal examination
Elevated blood pressure Early onset pre-eclampsia is seen in some women with molar pregnancies Elevated blood pressure
Early onset pre-eclampsia is seen in some women with molar pregnancies

Investigations - Diagnosis

Fact Explanation
Urine beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-hCG) Performed for diagnosis of pregnancy. Urine beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (beta-hCG)
Performed for diagnosis of pregnancy.
Quantitative serum beta-hCG Beta-hCG is secreted mainly by syncytiotrophoblast cells of the chorionic villi. In hydatidiform mole, increased proliferation of syncytiotrophoblast cells occurs, so that large amounts of beta- hCG is secreted by them. In a complete mole, serum beta-hCG level often exceeds 100,000 IU/L but in a partial mole it can be within the normal pregnancy range. Quantitative serum beta-hCG
Beta-hCG is secreted mainly by syncytiotrophoblast cells of the chorionic villi. In hydatidiform mole, increased proliferation of syncytiotrophoblast cells occurs, so that large amounts of beta- hCG is secreted by them. In a complete mole, serum beta-hCG level often exceeds 100,000 IU/L but in a partial mole it can be within the normal pregnancy range.
Ultrasound scan of pelvis 'Snow storm' appearance of mixed echogenic structures in the placenta, the absence of a gestational sac and the absence of fetal heart activity are typical findings of a complete mole. Fetus may be viable in a partial mole but may have features of early growth restriction or developmental abnormalities.
Ovaries may contain multiple large theca-lutein cysts.
Ultrasound scan of pelvis
'Snow storm' appearance of mixed echogenic structures in the placenta, the absence of a gestational sac and the absence of fetal heart activity are typical findings of a complete mole. Fetus may be viable in a partial mole but may have features of early growth restriction or developmental abnormalities.
Ovaries may contain multiple large theca-lutein cysts.
Histopathological tests On histological examination, complete mole often displays circumferential trophoblastic proliferation affecting most chorionic vili and does not contain extra-embryonic membranes or any fetal tissue. Partial mole displays mild and focal trophoblastic proliferation that can be observed on some chorionic villi and may contain extra-embryonic membranes and embryonic tissues (cartilage, bones, etc.), or even a normal or an abnormal complete fetus. Histopathological tests
On histological examination, complete mole often displays circumferential trophoblastic proliferation affecting most chorionic vili and does not contain extra-embryonic membranes or any fetal tissue. Partial mole displays mild and focal trophoblastic proliferation that can be observed on some chorionic villi and may contain extra-embryonic membranes and embryonic tissues (cartilage, bones, etc.), or even a normal or an abnormal complete fetus.
Karyotyping Complete hydatidiform mole is usually diploid. Most have 46,XX karyotype; a few have a 46,XY karyotype. Partial hydatidiform mole is usually triploid. (69XXX/69XXY/69XYY) Karyotyping
Complete hydatidiform mole is usually diploid. Most have 46,XX karyotype; a few have a 46,XY karyotype. Partial hydatidiform mole is usually triploid. (69XXX/69XXY/69XYY)
Serum TSH and free T4 level Thyroid function tests are done to diagnose hyperthyroidism Serum TSH and free T4 level
Thyroid function tests are done to diagnose hyperthyroidism

Investigations - Management

Fact Explanation
Quantitative serum beta-hCG Done to confirm the success of treatment and to identify persistent or malignant gestational trophoblastic disease. Quantitative serum beta-hCG
Done to confirm the success of treatment and to identify persistent or malignant gestational trophoblastic disease.
Ultrasound scan of pelvis Also done to confirm the success of treatment and to identify persistent or malignant gestational trophoblastic disease. Ultrasound scan of pelvis
Also done to confirm the success of treatment and to identify persistent or malignant gestational trophoblastic disease.
Complete blood count Done to detect anemia which can result from irregular vaginal bleeding Complete blood count
Done to detect anemia which can result from irregular vaginal bleeding
Serum creatinine Done to assess baseline renal function Serum creatinine
Done to assess baseline renal function
Serum electrolytes Done to assess renal function Serum electrolytes
Done to assess renal function
Liver function tests Done to assess baseline liver function Liver function tests
Done to assess baseline liver function
Chest X-ray postero-anterior view Is done when there are symptoms that suggest pulmonary metastases Chest X-ray postero-anterior view
Is done when there are symptoms that suggest pulmonary metastases

Management - Supportive

Fact Explanation
Family planing Women are advised not to conceive until their followup is complete. Women who receive chemotherapy are advised not to conceive for 1 year after completion of treatment.Barrier methods of contraception should be used until hCG levels become
normal.Once hCG level are normal, combined oral contraceptive pill can be used.
Family planing
Women are advised not to conceive until their followup is complete. Women who receive chemotherapy are advised not to conceive for 1 year after completion of treatment.Barrier methods of contraception should be used until hCG levels become
normal.Once hCG level are normal, combined oral contraceptive pill can be used.
Anti-D immunoglobulin Anti-D prophylaxis should be given for partial moles, but it is not required for complete moles Anti-D immunoglobulin
Anti-D prophylaxis should be given for partial moles, but it is not required for complete moles

Management - Specific

Fact Explanation
Surgical management- Suction curettage This is the treatment of choice for uterine evacuation in molar pregnancies, especially when the female has further fertility wishes. In a partial molar pregnancy when the size of fetal parts does not allow for successful suction curettage, medical evacuation is used. Surgical management- Suction curettage
This is the treatment of choice for uterine evacuation in molar pregnancies, especially when the female has further fertility wishes. In a partial molar pregnancy when the size of fetal parts does not allow for successful suction curettage, medical evacuation is used.
Medical uterine evacuation Medical evacuation of products of contraception using potent oxytocic agents is done for some partial molar pregnancies. This is avoided in case of complete mole due to the theoretical risk to embolize and disseminate trophoblastic tissue through the venous system. Medical uterine evacuation
Medical evacuation of products of contraception using potent oxytocic agents is done for some partial molar pregnancies. This is avoided in case of complete mole due to the theoretical risk to embolize and disseminate trophoblastic tissue through the venous system.
Chemotherapy The need for chemotherapy following evacuation is determined based on the FIGO 2000 scoring system. Women with high risk are treated with multi agent chemotherapy, (i.e.combinations of methotrexate, dactinomycin, etoposide, cyclophosphamide and vincristine). Women with low risk are treated with single-agent chemotherapy,(i.e.intramuscular methotrexate alternating daily with folinic acid).
Treatment is continued until the hCG level has returned to normal and then for a further 6 consecutive weeks.
Chemotherapy
The need for chemotherapy following evacuation is determined based on the FIGO 2000 scoring system. Women with high risk are treated with multi agent chemotherapy, (i.e.combinations of methotrexate, dactinomycin, etoposide, cyclophosphamide and vincristine). Women with low risk are treated with single-agent chemotherapy,(i.e.intramuscular methotrexate alternating daily with folinic acid).
Treatment is continued until the hCG level has returned to normal and then for a further 6 consecutive weeks.

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