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What does elevated serum beta HCG levels indicate during pregnancy?

Mar 2014
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Practicing since : 2001
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Hi, I had my bloods taken for beta hcg yesterday at 5wks 4days pregnant & I've just been informed by my doctor that my results were 4932 & that these results are on the higher end of the scale indicating that there might be a problem such as a molar pregnancy. He is arranging an early scan next week when I will be 6wks pregnant....I've read online that these results are within the normal range so am abit confused but very worried as I had a missed miscarriage last year at 9wks & was trying for a year to get pregnant...can you offer any advice??
Posted Tue, 25 Mar 2014 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Madhuri N Bagde 50 minutes later
Brief Answer: There are many possibilities Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXXX and welcome to health care magic. You had a blood HCG test and the doctor has informed you that the levels are slightly higher than normal. Please do not worry. Serum beta HCG levels show a wide range and the reference values used for comparison may vary from lab to lab. So the values in internet may not be the reference values in the lab that tested your sample. Even then, values between 5-6 weeks of pregnancy range from 20 to 50,000 in most labs. Considering this your level of 4932 is well within range. If the doctor says that these are high, the reference range for that lab may be different. Even then it does not mean that you are having a molar pregnancy. The most common cause of high values are wrong dates. Meaning that the last menstrual date is not predicting the gestation of pregnancy and the pregnancy occurred earlier than that calculated by the last menstrual period [LMP]. This happens commonly in women who confuse implantation bleeding with a period. The actual period is one month earlier. It is very common in my clinic and I prefer dates confirmed from ultrasound rather than LMP. Another cause may be twin pregnancy. The HCG levels are high as there are two babies and two developing placentae. Molar pregnancy is also a cause but is rare. So there are so many possibilities and the most likely is that everything is OK. An ultrasound must be done in early pregnancy as it helps in accurately dating the pregnancy, locates where the baby is [ in the uterus or tubes] and also gives an idea of the condition of the baby. So get it done, it is good for you. Please do not worry and keep faith. Whatever it is will be revealed in a few days. I always tell my patients to be positive as this energy reaches the baby. A happy mother means a happy baby. So do not worry. All my best wishes are with you. Hope I was able to answer your query. Thanks for using HCM. Have a good day. Dr Madhuri Bagde Consultant Ob Gy.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What does elevated serum beta HCG levels indicate during pregnancy? 2 hours later
Thank you for your reply, it has put my mind at ease a little. Could you tell me from your experience & if I was your patient would you consider this level high at 5wjs 4days??
Answered by Dr. Madhuri N Bagde 8 hours later
Brief Answer: Relax! Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, I have already said that the interpretation of the value depends upon the labs reference range. If you have a printed report, please check if they have mentioned their range for a 5-6 weeks pregnancy. If we follow the general values of most labs, it is well within range, maybe a bit on the higher side but not molar range. In a complete molar pregnancy the values are usually above 50,000 to 100,000 as there is no baby only villi that produce HCG. A partial mole [ some tissue mole and some tissue fetus] may have normal values and is usually missed by beta HCG test and diagnosed by sonography or examination of aborted material. It is my protocol to do an ultrasound between 6-8 weeks as it helps in confirming the dates and determine fetal well being. So I would advice a sonography irrespective of values. Please do not worry. Your values are not so high for a complete mole and partial mole does not mostly show on values. So just wait for the scan and relax. Believe in yourself. The doctor was just cautious and wanted the best for you with minimal risks. Hope that this answered your query. Have a good day. Dr Madhuri
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