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Am Surg. 2008 Nov;74(11):1062-5.

Management and outcomes of ovarian masses in children and adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Division of Pediatric Surgery, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA. islamsa@surgery.ufl.edu


Ovarian masses in the pediatric age group are rare, and malignancies are even less common. We reviewed our large single-center experience to determine the rate of malignancy and discuss management. We retrospectively reviewed the cases of ovarian masses in children in our institution over a 10-year period. Demographic and tumor-specific data were reviewed and analyzed, and a Student's unpaired t test was used where appropriate. A total of 49 children and adolescents with ovarian masses were found. The mean age at presentation was 13.3 years. Eight masses were malignant (16%) with malignant teratoma, dysgerminoma, and germ cell tumors found. These patients responded to chemotherapy, but there were three recurrences noted that responded to further therapy. Seventy-four per cent of the benign tumors were teratomas. The most common presentation was abdominal pain in 27 patients (55%) followed by an abdominal mass. Ultrasound and CT scans were the most common imaging studies with a mean mass size of 14.7 cm. A majority of the patients underwent a laparotomy with 12 per cent having a minimally invasive procedure. Only 37 per cent of the operations were performed by the pediatric surgeons. There were no deaths in this series after a follow up of over 6 years. Most ovarian masses in childhood are benign. Malignant lesions have favorable outcomes with chemotherapy, even with recurrent disease. Consideration for laparoscopic procedures should be given for the benign lesions.

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