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J Am Board Fam Pract. 2005 Nov-Dec;18(6):570-3.

A molar pregnancy detected by following beta-human chorionic gonadotropin levels after a first trimester loss.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School, Department of Family Medicine, St. Luke's Family Practice Residency, 1230 Grant Street, Milwaukee, WI 53215, USA.


This case report summarizes the sequence of events that led to the detection of a molar pregnancy missed by ultrasound and initial pathology examinations. This patient illustrates that following serial quantitative beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (B-hCG) levels after spontaneous, therapeutic, and elective abortions will help detect potentially life-threatening molar and ectopic pregnancies. Further research is needed to determine the optimal frequency of B-hCG testing. For now, maternity care providers can follow the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommendation that abnormal bleeding for more than 6 weeks after any pregnancy should be evaluated with B-hCG testing. Earlier testing may be considered.

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