Partial Molar Pregnancies
A hydatidiform mole is a pathology of a fertilized egg, in which the chorionic villi transforms into cysts (sacs of fluid) and the epithelium of the villi grows abnormally, which results in death of a fetus.
The symptoms of a molar pregnancy include an early toxicosis, enlarged uterus (inconsistent with the gestational age), and bleeding. An ultrasound scan is one of the ways to diagnose this condition; other methods include a pelvic examination, measuring the levels of beta human chorionic gonadotropin (Beta HCG), and phonocardiogram. The treatment of a molar pregnancy usually involves removing the hydatidiform mole with a surgical procedure known as curettage. In some cases the doctor performs a vacuum aspiration, and rarely – a hysterectomy.
The cysts can grow up to a 25 millimeter size, filled with yellowish-white fluid, which contains globulin, amino acid, chorionic gonadotropin, and albumin. They usually don’t have blood vessels, but sometimes individual capillaries can be visible.
Partial Molar Pregnancy
A partial molar pregnancy (a variation of a molar pregnancy) is diagnosed when an embryo develops together with proliferating chorionic villi with hydropic degeneration. The embryo usually dies at the end of the first or the beginning of the second trimester. A placental examination is needed to confirm the diagnosis, because hydropic chorionic villi are not as pronounced as in the case of complete molar pregnancy. This condition usually occurs in elder women and has a low risk of malignancy.
What Happens After?
After the diagnosis and the treatment, the woman must go through regular check-ups for half a year, as the hydatidiform mole can have dangerous consequences. Some molar tissue can remain in the uterus after the surgery, which can develop into a trophoblastic tumor. If it happens, the tumor cells start to divide quickly. The danger is that these cells can be transported with blood to the lungs, liver and brain.
Medication treatment continues until the HCG level returns to normal. In rare cases, the molar tissue may develop into a choriocarcinoma, which is a curable form of cancer. This happens in 1 out of 30,000 pregnancies, and is treated with chemotherapy.