Clinical Review

Lesson of the week : Unusual case of choriocarcinoma occurring 12 months after delivery

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 14 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:532
  1. Anthony Todd, senior house officera,
  2. Edward Newlands, professorb,
  3. Mark Palazzo, consultant anaesthetistc
  1. a Department of Gastroenterology, Sunderland General Hospital, Sunderland SR4 7TP
  2. b Department of Medical Oncology, Charing Cross Hospital, London W6 8RF
  3. c Intensive Care Unit, Charing Cross Hospital
  1. Correspondence to: Dr A Todd Department of Haematology, Ipswich General Hospital, Ipswich IP4 5PD
  • Accepted 11 June 1997


Choriocarcinoma should be considered in women of childbearing age with acute haemorrhage occurring even years after a normal birth

Choriocarcinoma is a malignant tumour that arises from trophoblastic epithelium; it has an incidence of 0.05 to 0.23 per 1000 live births.1 The most important risk factor, a history of hydatidiform mole, is present in only half of cases, and many cases occur after a normal full term pregnancy.2 We report the case of a young woman with choriocarcinoma who presented with an intraperitoneal haemorrhage from splenic metastases. She also developed multiple pulmonary tumour emboli and haemorrhage from tumour infiltration. She is the first patient in the United Kingdom, so far as we are aware, to survive ventilation for this disease.


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