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Pediatr Dev Pathol. 1998 Sep-Oct;1(5):380-7.

Intraplacental choriocarcinoma associated with viable pregnancy: pathologic features and implications for the mother and infant.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Hutzel Hospital and Wayne State University School of Medicine, 4707 St. Antoine Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


Choriocarcinoma arising in the placenta, or intraplacental choriocarcinoma, has seldom been reported, particularly in the absence of maternal metastases. Reluctance to diagnose choriocarcinoma in the presence of chorionic villi can delay diagnosis; however, timely diagnosis of choriocarcinoma is prognostically important, both for the mother and infant. We report the clinicopathologic findings in five mothers and infants in whom choriocarcinoma was identified in the placenta. None of the mothers had a history of gestational trophoblastic disease in previous pregnancies. Three placentas were similar with a single small lesion grossly suggesting a small infarct; microscopically these consisted of infarcted areas surrounded by choriocarcinoma. These three mothers were unusual in that none had metastatic choriocarcinoma; two were treated with chemotherapy and remained disease-free; the third was lost to follow-up shortly following delivery. The remaining two mothers had known pulmonary metastases at time of delivery. One of these latter two placentas contained a large marginal lesion microscopically identified as choriocarcinoma. The fifth placenta had rare microscopic foci of choriocarcinoma, and sheets of necrotic choriocarcinoma were identified in "blood clot" submitted with the placenta. In four of the five cases the choriocarcinoma appeared to be arising from otherwise normal chorionic villi, and in no case was there invasion of the villous stroma. All of the infants survived, and none had evidence of choriocarcinoma. These cases support the concept that choriocarcinoma associated with otherwise normal pregnancy arises in the placenta and may be more common than reported.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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