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Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG): A hormone produced in the human placenta that maintains the corpus luteum during pregnancy.

In molecular biology, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the syncytiotrophoblast, a component of the fertilized egg, after conception. Following implantation, the syncytiotrophoblast gives rise to the placenta. Some cancerous tumors produce this hormone; therefore, elevated levels measured when the patient is not pregnant can lead to a cancer diagnosis. However, it is not known whether this production is a contributing cause or an effect of tumorigenesis. The pituitary analog of hCG, known as luteinizing hormone (LH), is produced in the pituitary gland of males and females of all ages.