What is a hydatidiform mole?

Updated: Feb 16, 2018
  • Author: Lisa E Moore, MD, FACOG; Chief Editor: Warner K Huh, MD  more...
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Answer

Gestational trophoblastic disease encompasses several disease processes that originate in the placenta. These include complete and partial moles, placental site trophoblastic tumors, choriocarcinomas, and invasive moles. A diet deficient in animal fat and carotene may be a risk factor. [1]  More recently, Japanese investigators have identified a novel homozygous nonsense mutation in the NLRP7 gene (c.584G>A; p.W195X) in a patient that appears to associated with recurrent hydatidiform mole. [2] They also noted that the mole was biparental, and there was a specific maternal loss of DNA methylation of differentially methylated regions (DMRs). [2]

Almost all women with malignant gestational trophoblastic disease can be cured with preservation of reproductive function. The following discussion is limited to hydatidiform moles (complete and partial).


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