BACKGROUND: Although the morphological features characteristic of products of conception specimens including molar pregnancies are well described, substantial histopathological similarities are observed between the different entities, especially in cases of early pregnancies. Furthermore, there are no current solid criteria that could predict cases with progression to persistent gestational trophoblastic disease. In this study, we aimed to determine the most specific histopathological and immunohistochemical features required for accurate diagnosis that can reliably predict the clinical behavior.
METHODS: Sixty-five cases of products of conception were reviewed clinically and pathologically, and any progression to persistent gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), if present, was noted. Pathological assessment of the archival material included re-cut sections of 5 μm in thickness, routine staining with hematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemical staining of p57Kip2.
RESULTS: Certain histopathological criteria were found to be significant in differentiation between complete hydatidiform mole (CHM) and partial hydatidiform mole including villous shape and outline, villous trophoblast hyperplasia, and atypia in extravillous trophoblasts. There were no significant differences in any morphological or immunohistochemical features between cases with or without subsequent development of GTD.
CONCLUSIONS: Histopathological diagnosis of molar pregnancy remains problematic especially in early gestation. Their diagnosis should be stated after a constellation of specific histopathological criteria in order not to miss CHM. p57Kip2 immunohistochemistry is of great value in diagnosis of cases that had equivocal morphology by histopathological examination. However, there were no significant features to predict cases that subsequently developed persistent GTD.