The hydatidiform mole

Cell Adh Migr. 2016 Mar 3;10(1-2):226-35. doi: 10.1080/19336918.2015.1093275. Epub 2015 Sep 30.


The hydatidiform mole (HM) is a placental pathology of androgenetic origin. Placental villi have an abnormal hyperproliferation event and hydropic degeneration. Three situations can be envisaged at its origin: 1. The destruction/expulsion of the female pronucleus at the time of fertilization by 1 or 2 spermatozoa with the former being followed by an endoreplication of the male pronucleus leading to a complete hydatidiform mole (CHM) 2. A triploid zygote (fertilization by 2 spermatozoa) leading to a partial hydatidiform mole (PHM) but can also lead to haploid and diploid clones. The diploid clone may produce a normal fetus while the haploid clone after endoreplication generates a CHM 3. A nutritional defect during the differentiation of the oocytes or the deterioration of the limited oxygen pressure during the first trimester of gestation may lead to the formation of a HM. In countries with poor medical health care system, moles (mainly the CHM) can become invasive or, in rare cases, lead to gestational choriocarcinomas.

Keywords: choriocarcinoma; epigenetic; fertilization; hydatidiform mole; invasive mole; trophoblast.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytogenetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydatidiform Mole / epidemiology
  • Hydatidiform Mole / genetics
  • Hydatidiform Mole / pathology*
  • Pregnancy