An Elevated Value for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

Differential Diagnosis

Confirmation of intrauterine pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy


Gestational trophoblastic disease Nongestational malignancies

Suggested Additional Lab Testing

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) tests can be performed using serum or urine.

  • Urine test is qualitative (yes/no).

  • Serum test can be qualitative or quantitative.

  • Serial quantitative measurements of hCG may be useful, especially in suspected ectopic pregnancy, where a low

Low levels of serial serum hCG may identify a spontaneous or threatened abortion.

An insufficient hCG decline after abortion indicates incomplete therapeutic or spontaneous abortion.

Gestational trophoblastic disease: hCG is abnormally high with a high ratio of free beta hCG to total hCG

hCG measurement may also be useful in the diagnosis, prognosis, and management of other tumors, such as testicular tumors.

hCG or a slow rise in the hCG in the absence of an intrauterine sac on ultrasonography suggests an ectopic pregnancy.

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