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hydatidiform mole

hydatidiform mole in Medicine

hydatidiform mole n.
A vesicular or polycystic placental mass resulting from the proliferation of the trophoblast and the hydropic degeneration and avascularity of the chorionic villi, usually indicative of an abnormal pregnancy. Also called mole4.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for hydatidiform mole

in human pregnancy, abnormal growth of the chorion, the outermost vascular membrane that in a normal pregnancy would enclose the embryo and ultimately give rise to the placenta. In the situation in which the hydatidiform mole develops, the embryo is usually either absent or dead. The mole, a collection of sacs (cysts) containing a jellylike substance, resembles clusters of grapes and can attain a great size. Most of the moles are expelled in about the 20th week of pregnancy. The moler pregnancy is usually terminated by suction curettage. In a few cases, the mole spreads into the muscle of the uterus and causes bleeding. If this is severe, the obstetrician may remove the mole by surgery. In extremely rare instances, hydatidiform moles develop into choriocarcinomas, which are highly malignant tumours.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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