What is the role of imaging studies in the evaluation of suspected with hydatidiform mole?

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

Ultrasonography is the criterion standard for identifying both complete and partial molar pregnancies. The classic image, using older ultrasonographic technology, is of a snowstorm pattern representing the hydropic chorionic villi. High-resolution ultrasonography shows a complex intrauterine mass containing many small cysts.

Once a molar pregnancy is diagnosed, a baseline chest radiograph should be taken. The lungs are a primary site of metastasis for malignant trophoblastic tumors (see the Medscape Drugs & Disease article Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia).


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