Pathology of gestational trophoblastic diseases

Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2003 Dec;17(6):849-68. doi: 10.1016/s1521-6934(03)00094-4.


Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) is a heterogeneous group of diseases. This used to include partial and complete hydatidiform moles, invasive mole, choriocarcinoma and placental site trophoblastic tumour. In recent years, new entities, including epithelioid trophoblastic tumour, have been added to this family. Non-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions derived from implantation site and chorion intermediate trophoblast have been gaining attention in the literature. New markers for trophoblasts have been identified facilitating histological diagnosis in cases with unusual clinical or pathological features. It is worth noting that histological distinction between hydropic abortion and partial mole and between complete and partial moles, especially at early gestational age, may be difficult. It may not be possible to predict progress of the heterogeneous group of GTD from histopathological features, except probably in placental site trophoblastic tumour. Alternative biological markers may be explored for better patient management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Choriocarcinoma / pathology
  • Female
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / classification
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hydatidiform Mole / pathology
  • Hydatidiform Mole, Invasive / pathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prognosis
  • Trophoblastic Tumor, Placental Site / pathology
  • Trophoblasts / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology