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hydatiform mole[hī′dad·ə‚fȯrm ′mōl]
an abnormal pregnancy resulting from a pathologic ovum with proliferation of the epithelium of the chorion frondosum and edema of the stroma of the villi. The causes of a hydatiform mole are not known. Externally it resembles a grape cluster, since it is a cluster of variously sized cysts with transparent contents.
When there is a hydatiform mole and changes in the villi are widespread, the fetus most often dies; however, even after the death of the fetus the mole continues to develop. As a result of proliferation of the vesicles, the uterus enlarges comparatively rapidly, and its size does not correspond to the term of the pregnancy. One of the principal symptoms of a hydatiform mole is the appearance in the third or fourth month of pregnancy of bloody discharges and hemorrhages from the genital tract, which result from the partial sloughing off of cysts from the uterine walls. The blood is watery and dark in color and contains the rejected cysts of the mole. Hemorrhage leads to considerable anemia and may endanger the woman’s life if intensified.
Often when there is a hydatiform mole, symptoms of late toxemia of pregnancy appear as early as the first half of the pregnancy. In the rare invasive form of hydatiform mole the cysts deeply penetrate the musculature of the uterus, which may lead to perforation of the uterus and severe intra-abdominal hemorrhage. The greatest danger of an hydatiform mole is the possible development of a malignant tumor, that is, a chorionepithelioma.
Treatment includes the use of preparations that contract the uterus. The cysts of the mole can also be sucked out with a special vacuum apparatus. After removal of a hydatiform mole the woman remains under a doctor’s care for 1½ to two years.
A. P. KIRIUSHCHENKOV