The curative effect of a second curettage in persistent trophoblastic disease: a retrospective cohort survey

Gynecol Oncol. 2005 Oct;99(1):6-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2005.06.032.


Objective: To assess the curative effect of a second curettage in patients with low-risk Persistent Trophoblastic Disease (PTD) after molar pregnancy.

Methods: A retrospective cohort survey was performed on 2122 patients registered with the Dutch Central Registry for Hydatidiform Moles between 1987 and 2003. Of these, 422 patients developed PTD. For various reasons, 128 patients were excluded. The study group comprised 85 patients with, according to the Dutch guidelines, low-risk PTD who underwent a second therapeutic curettage as a part of the treatment for PTD. The control group consisted of 209 patients with low-risk PTD who did not undergo a second curettage. Patients in the study and control group were classified for high/low-risk PTD according to the internationally accepted FIGO 2000 guidelines. Primary outcome measures were the need for chemotherapy and if applicable, the number of chemotherapy courses.

Results: After second curettage, eight out of 85 patients (9.4%) did not need additional chemotherapy which significantly differs from the 209 patients in the control group who all needed chemotherapy (P < 0.001). A debulking effect of the second curettage was observed: a median of 6 courses (interquartile range 3 courses) in the control group versus 5 courses (interquartile range 3 courses) in the study group (P = 0.036). Four out of the 85 (4.8%) patients with a second curettage had a major complication (uterine perforation or hemorrhage), which was managed conservatively.

Conclusion: A second curettage cured 9.4% of patients with PTD in this historical cohort and reduces the number of courses of chemotherapy. A second curettage seems to benefit only a limited number of patients with PTD. A randomized controlled prospective trial is needed to confirm this observation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Curettage / methods
  • Female
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / blood
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / drug therapy
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / pathology
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hydatidiform Mole / blood
  • Hydatidiform Mole / drug therapy
  • Hydatidiform Mole / pathology
  • Hydatidiform Mole / surgery
  • Leucovorin / administration & dosage
  • Methotrexate / administration & dosage
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pregnancy
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • Leucovorin
  • Methotrexate