Ultrasound traits of partial molar pregnancy are key to patient care

By Kate Madden Yee, AuntMinnie.com staff writer

November 4, 2015 --

Tuesday, December 1 | 3:10 p.m.-3:20 p.m. | SSJ11-02 | Room E353B
Compared with a complete molar pregnancy, partial molar pregnancy is often underdiagnosed -- making it all the more important for radiologists to be familiar with its sonographic appearance, researchers from the University of Michigan report.

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.

Last Updated bc 11/2/2015 2:49:10 PM