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Gynecol Oncol. 2007 Feb;104(2):451-4. Epub 2006 Oct 4.

Expression of CD44, E-cadherin, and antimetastatic protein nm23-H1 in complete hydatidiform moles.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA.



There is scant information about the expression of CD44 and E-cadherin, two cell adhesion molecules, and the antimetastatic protein nm23-H1, in complete hydatidiform moles. We measured the expression of these markers to determine their usefulness in predicting the development of invasive disease.


We performed a retrospective study of 27 patients with complete hydatidiform moles, collecting clinical information including the patient's age, pre-evacuation hCG level, pathology, hCG monitoring, and the development of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia. Immunohistochemical staining for CD44, E-cadherin, and nm23-H1 was performed. CD44 expression was classified as positive or negative. For E-cadherin and nm23-H1, the intensity of expression was graded on a 0 to 3 scale. Chi-square or Fisher's exact testing was used to evaluate the relationship between these markers and the development of invasive disease.


CD44 was expressed in 26% of cases. E-cadherin expression was 1+, 2+, and 3+in 8%, 33%, and 59% of cases, respectively. Nm23-H1 expression was 1+, 2+, and 3+in 4%, 11%, and 85% of cases. The risk of developing invasive disease did not correlate with the expression of CD44, E-cadherin, or nm23-H1.


In this preliminary study, there is no relationship between CD44, E-cadherin, and nm23-H1 expression in complete hydatidiform moles and the risk of invasive disease. Other molecular markers predictive of invasive disease should be sought to limit hCG surveillance to those at risk.

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