Human Chorionic Gonadotropin-A Review of the Literature.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

IMPORTANCE: The measurement of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels in different body fluids is a commonly utilized tool in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as other fields. It is often one of the first steps in the medical workup of female patients, and the results and interpretation of this test can have significant downstream ramifications. It is essential to understand the uses and limitations of hCG as a testing and therapeutic measure to appropriately evaluate, counsel, and treat patients. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to review the current literature on hCG, including its origins, structure, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and utility in testing and medical treatment. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Original research articles, review articles, and guidelines on hCG use were reviewed. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: While the primary function of hCG is to maintain early pregnancy, testing for hCG demonstrates that this molecule is implicated in a multitude of different processes where results of testing may lead to incorrect conclusions regarding pregnancy status. This could affect patients in a myriad of settings and have profound emotional and financial consequences. In addition, hCG testing may be revealing of alternative pathology, such as malignancy. It is imperative to understand the nuances of the physiology of hCG and testing methods to effectively use and interpret this test for appropriate patient management.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Herkert, D; Meljen, V; Muasher, L; Price, TM; Kuller, JA; Dotters-Katz, S

Published Date

  • September 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 77 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 539 - 546

PubMed ID

  • 36136076

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-9866

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/OGX.0000000000001053


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States