Choriocarcinoma is a malignant, trophoblastic cancer, usually arising in the placenta but occasionally in the ovary.
Malignant trophoblastic tissue, usually of the placenta, will have no chorionic villi present.
Choriocarcinoma is characterized through spread to the lungs via the blood.
Choriocarcinoma is one of the more malignant types of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia.
Theca lutein cysts are seen with increased frequency in choriocarcinoma. They are bilateral, fluid-filled cysts that arise when hCG levels are elevated.
In most cases, choriocarcinoma is preceded by a hydatidiform mole either complete or partial. A complete mole leading to development of choriocarcinoma occurs in approximately 16-20% of cases, and a partial mole precedes choriocarcinoma in approximately 0.5-1% of cases. Complete moles do not have associated fetal parts and may include a large, boggy uterus and an absence of fetal heart tones during the late first and early second trimester.
Elevated levels of human chorionic gonadotropin are seen in choriocarcinoma, thus making it an effective tumor marker.
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