Gestational Trophoblastic Neoplasia and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: A 10-Year Review

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The objective of the study was to describe the management of gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN), with particular reference to concurrent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.


This retrospective descriptive study comprised all cases of GTN managed at Groote Schuur Hospital over a 10-year period (1999–2008).


Seventy-six patients, with a median age of 30 years at presentation, were included in the study. Only 36 patients (47.4%) had known HIV status. Fourteen (18.4%) were HIV positive, and of these, 4 (28.6%) were on antiretroviral treatment (ARV). The mean CD4 count was 142 cells/μL for those on ARV and 543 cells/μL for those not on ARV (P = 0.001). Histologically, 44 patients (58%) had hydatidiform mole, and 21 (28%) had choriocarcinoma. In the remaining 10 cases, a clinical diagnosis was made. Based on the revised International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO)/modified World Health Organization scoring, 43 patients (56.6%) were low risk, and 33 (43.4%) were high risk. Thirty-eight patients (50%) were staged as FIGO stage I. Of 73 patients who received chemotherapy, 56 (76.7%) achieved complete remission, 9 (12.3%) did not achieve any remission, 7 (9.6%) had a relapse, and 1 (1.4%) was lost to follow-up. Patients who never went into remission had frequent treatment delays due to poor compliance or inadequate blood counts. The overall survival at 60 months was 81.9%. Of the 13 patients (17.1%) who have died, 5 (38.5%) were HIV positive. The overall 5-year survival rates for FIGO stages I, II, III, and IV were 97.4%, 66.7%, 77.8%, and 46.2%, respectively. The overall 5-year survival for HIV-positive patients was 64.3% versus more than 85% for both the HIV-negative and HIV-unknown groups.


Apart from more advanced stage, HIV seropositivity and poor compliance with treatment also portend poorer outcome in GTN patients. In HIV-positive patients with poor CD4, little clarity is available whether ARV should be commenced speedily, and the administration of chemotherapy delayed until immune reconstitution occurs.

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