November 4, 2015 --
Dr. Julia Savage and colleagues from University of Michigan Health System sought to describe ultrasound findings in histopathologically proven molar pregnancies, and to match those findings with clinical markers such as serum beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels.
The researchers reviewed the cases of 72 women with histopathologic diagnosis of molar pregnancy and available ultrasound images between January 2001 and December 2011. Mean gestational age was 74 days and median serum beta-hCG was 64,400 mIU/mL.
The pathology results revealed 49 partial molar pregnancies and 23 complete molar pregnancies. Ultrasound showed that partial molar pregnancies more commonly had a discrete gestational sac, yolk sac, or fetal pole (a thickening on the margin of the yolk sac), while complete molar pregnancies were more likely to show clearly abnormal tissue in the uterus.
Because evidence of a partial molar pregnancy can be less clear than evidence of a complete molar pregnancy, it's important to be familiar with how it manifests on ultrasound, so as to more effectively manage clinical care, Savage and colleagues concluded.