Gestational Trophoblastic Disease

Gestational trophoblastic disease starts in the uterus from cells that would normally develop into the placenta. These tumors can grow during or after pregnancy and can be benign or cancerous. Symptoms include vaginal bleeding.

Types of gestational trophoblastic disease include molar pregnancy, choriocarcinoma, and placental site trophoblastic tumor. Molar pregnancies are diagnosed by ultrasound. Ultrasounds of complete moles show a uterus filled with cysts. Ultrasounds of partial moles shows an abnormal fetus and placenta. Hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels in the blood are high. Molar pregnancies are treated by evacuating the uterus via a procedure called dilation and curettage.

Choriocarcinoma can develop after a molar pregnancy or spontaneously. Treatment includes surgery and/or chemotherapy.

Placental site trophoblastic tumors are resistant to chemotherapy and treated with surgery.