What is the role of human chorionic gonadotropin-beta measurement in the workup of early pregnancy loss?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: Slava V Gaufberg, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

The discriminatory level of beta-hCG is approximately 1500 mIU/mL above which there should be sonographic evidence of early intrauterine pregnancy, if present. Beta-hCG level rises at rate of doubling approximately every 48 hours for 85% of intrauterine pregnancies. The remaining 15% may rise with a different slope or be plateaued.

A higher likelihood of ectopic pregnancy or subsequent miscarriage exists if hCG blood level is lower than predicted by estimated gestational age (GA) based on the last menstrual period (LMP).

The possibility of molar pregnancy exists if beta-hCG is very high and out of proportion to predicted gestational age. This pregnancy occurs with or without evidence of early normal trophoblast growth and function, as indicated by adequately rising beta-hCG levels.


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