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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2007 Sep;134(1):83-6. Epub 2006 Jul 17.

Endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the ovary and endometriosis.

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  • 1Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Principe de Asturias Hospital, Alcalá de Henares University, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain.



We present a retrospective analysis of 22 cases of endometrioid ovarian carcinoma, reviewed to identify endometriosis and its malignant transformation.


Twenty-two patients with endometrioid ovarian cancer were included in the review. Their clinical and histological data were retrospectively reviewed. The origin of the tumours was considered endometriosis-related when the presence of malignant changes in endometriosis glands leading to endometrioid carcinoma were found.


Endometriosis was detected in three cases (3/22=14%). One of them presented a clearly benign to malignant transformation area. In another patient, the transition zone was abrupt and present in both ovaries. In the third, a pre-menopausal woman, ovarian endometriosis with only focal endometrioid carcinoma was observed. The three of them had a clear-cell carcinoma component. The presence of a clear-cell component was significantly greater in patients with endometriosis than in patients without endometriosis Each patient had a different clinical presentation: increase in abdominal perimeter, post-menopausal vaginal haemorrhage and hypermenorrhea. Preoperative CA 125 levels were avalaible in 15 of the patients (15/22=68%). Endometriosis was found in two of these 15 patients, both with the highest CA 125 measured levels, exceeding 1700 U/ml. In the remaining of the patients, CA 125 value did not exceed 35 U/ml.


Although this association is not very frequent, patients with ovarian endometriosis and a high CA 125 serum level should be managed with special care, regardless of their pre-menopausal or post-menopausal status.

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