case Study: hCG as a Diagnostic Marker for Gestational Trophoblastic Disease

January 27, 2024by Dr. S. F. Czar0

Case Study: hCG as a Diagnostic Marker for Gestational Trophoblastic Disease

Patient Profile:

  • Name: Emma
  • Age: 29
  • Gender: Female
  • Medical History: Emma had a healthy pregnancy two years ago and recently experienced a molar pregnancy.
  • Presenting Complaint: Emma presents with vaginal bleeding and abdominal discomfort.

Clinical Presentation:

  • Physical Examination: Emma appears pale and exhibits abdominal tenderness on palpation. Her vital signs are stable.
  • Initial Laboratory Tests: Emma’s hCG levels are measured, revealing an unusually high level for her gestational age.

Diagnostic Workup:

Given Emma’s symptoms and elevated hCG levels, further investigations are conducted:

  • Transvaginal Ultrasound: A transvaginal ultrasound is performed to evaluate the pregnancy. The ultrasound shows a characteristic “snowstorm” appearance, indicating a molar pregnancy.


Based on Emma’s clinical presentation, elevated hCG levels, and transvaginal ultrasound findings, she is diagnosed with a complete hydatidiform mole, a subtype of GTD.


This case study highlights the diagnostic significance of hCG in identifying Gestational Trophoblastic Disease:

1. Clinical Presentation:

  • Emma’s symptoms of vaginal bleeding and abdominal discomfort are consistent with GTD, warranting further investigation.

2. Elevated hCG Levels:

  • Emma’s hCG levels are significantly higher than expected for her gestational age, a hallmark feature of molar pregnancies.

3. Transvaginal Ultrasound:

  • The transvaginal ultrasound not only confirms the diagnosis but also provides a visual representation of the characteristic “snowstorm” appearance associated with complete hydatidiform moles.

4. Importance of Early Diagnosis:

  • Emma’s timely presentation and diagnostic workup facilitate early diagnosis, which is critical for prompt intervention and reducing the risk of complications associated with molar pregnancies.

5. Treatment:

  • Emma undergoes a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure to remove the molar tissue. Subsequent hCG monitoring is essential to ensure complete resolution of the disease.


Emma’s case underscores the pivotal role of hCG as a diagnostic marker in Gestational Trophoblastic Disease. Understanding the significance of hCG levels, coupled with imaging techniques like transvaginal ultrasound, allows healthcare providers to diagnose GTD promptly, ensuring timely treatment and better patient outcomes. Early intervention is crucial in managing this rare condition and preventing potential complications.

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