Medical Definition of Hydatidiform mole

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Hydatidiform mole: A tumor that forms in the uterus as a mass of cysts resembling a bunch of grapes. Hydatidiform moles occur during the childbearing years, and they do not spread outside the uterus. However, a malignancy called choriocarcinoma may start from a hydatidiform mole. In its early stages, a hydatidiform mole may look like a normal pregnancy. Diagnosis is based on a history of lack of fetal movement, a pelvic examination, an ultrasound, and a blood test to look for high
levels of the hormone beta human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG in the blood of a woman who is not pregnant can be a sign of a hydatidiform mole. Treatment includes removal of the mole by dilation and curettage (D & C) and suction evacuation and surgery to remove the uterus (hysterectomy). Also known as a molar pregnancy.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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