The current study was undertaken in an effort to identify the clinical characteristics and natural history of partial moles. Three cases recently managed at Tripler Army Medical Center and 52 cases collected from the medical literature were reviewed. The mean age of the women at diagnosis was 25.6 years. The mean gestational age at diagnosis was 23.8 weeks. The most common presenting symptom was vaginal bleeding in 69 per cent of women. Although triploidy was the most frequent karyotype (68 per cent), normal 46,XY or XX karyotypes were present, and phenotypically normal infants were delivered of mothers with a coexisting molar pregnancy. Malignant trophoblastic disease occurred in 14.5 per cent of the women. All of them achieved remission with adjuvant therapy. Partial moles are considered a less virulent form of molar pregnancy. The clinical characteristics and natural history are not entirely dissimilar from the complete mole. Malignant sequelae can occur after the evacuation of a partial mole. These women should be followed with serial serum beta-HCG.
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