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Nig Q J Hosp Med. 2011 Apr-Jun;21(2):114-8.

Histopathological patterns of ovarian tumours seen in Lagos University Teaching Hospital: a ten year retrospective study.

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  • 1Department of Histopathology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus. Anambra State, Nigeria.



Among gynaecological cancers, ovarian malignancy is the most lethal, largely due to the fact that it is not diagnosed until late stage. Information concerning the frequency and pattern of ovarian tumours in Lagos is scant.


To present a 10 year retrospective histologic study of ovarian tumours in Lagos, Nigeria. The aim is to document the histologic pattern, prevalence and age distribution of ovarian tumours.


The materials consisted slides, paraffin embedded tissue blocks, patients' case files and histology request forms of all ovarian biopsies received at the Morbid Anatomy department of Lagos University Teaching Hospital Idi-Araba, Lagos from 1991 to 2000.


A total of 486 ovarian biopsies were studied out of which 203 specimens were true ovarian neoplasms. One hundred and sixty three (80.3%) of the true neoplasms were benign while malignant ovarian tumours constituted 40 (19.7%). Ovarian malignancy constituted about 7% of 203 gynaecological malignant tumours in the 10 year period under review. Tumours of germ cell origin were the commonest, accounting for 107 (52.7%) of the true ovarian neoplasm seen. Surface epithelial tumours constituted 56 (27.6%), while sex cord-stromal tumours contributed 32 (15.8%). Mature teratoma was the commonest benign tumour, accounting for 98 (60.1%) cases of benign ovarian tumours. It showed a wide age range of occurrence, with peak occurrence between 20 and 29 years. Serous cystadenocarcinoma (42.5%) was the commonest ovarian malignancy. Serous cystadenocarcinoma occurred between the ages of 20 and 69 years with highest frequency in 30-39 years age group,


The germ cell tumours were the commonest ovarian neoplasm followed by surface epithelial tumours. This pattern is seen in most parts of Nigeria and Africa.

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