Update on the diagnosis and management of gestational trophoblastic disease

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2018 Oct:143 Suppl 2:79-85. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.12615.


Gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) arises from abnormal placenta and is composed of a spectrum of premalignant to malignant disorders. Changes in epidemiology of GTD have been noted in various countries. In addition to histology, molecular genetic studies can help in the diagnostic pathway. Earlier detection of molar pregnancy by ultrasound has resulted in changes in clinical presentation and decreased morbidity from uterine evacuation. Follow-up with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is essential for early diagnosis of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN). The duration of hCG monitoring varies depending on histology type and regression rate. Low-risk GTN (FIGO Stages I-III: score <7) is treated with single-agent chemotherapy but may require additional agents; although scores 5-6 are associated with more drug resistance, overall survival approaches 100%. High-risk GTN (FIGO Stages II-III: score >7 and Stage IV) is treated with multiple agent chemotherapy, with or without adjuvant surgery for excision of resistant foci of disease or radiotherapy for brain metastases, achieving a survival rate of approximately 90%. Gentle induction chemotherapy helps reduce early deaths in patients with extensive tumor burden, but late mortality still occurs from recurrent resistant tumors.

Keywords: Choriocarcinoma; Epithelioid trophoblastic tumor; FIGO Cancer Report; Gestational trophoblastic neoplasia; Moles; Placental site trophoblastic tumor.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / blood
  • Female
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / blood
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / diagnosis
  • Gestational Trophoblastic Disease / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hydatidiform Mole / diagnosis
  • Induction Chemotherapy / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pregnancy
  • Survival Rate


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin