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Early-stage ovarian carcinoma combined with pulmonary tuberculosis mimicking advanced ovarian cancer: a case report
  1. C.-H. Chen,
  2. C.-Y. Huang and
  3. S.-N. Chow
  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Taiwan University Hospital, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Song-Nan Chow, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Taiwan University Hospital, 7 Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan. Email: snchow{at}


In patients of ovarian cancer combined with multiple pulmonary nodules, the diagnosis of metastatic ovarian cancer is always considered. However, benign pulmonary conditions can be discovered instead. An 80-year-old female presented with a rapidly growing ovarian mass, elevated serum CA-125, and multiple pulmonary varying-sized nodular lesions. The pretreatment workup of her lung lesions failed to show a malignant cell, and it also failed to show any evidence of tuberculosis or other infectious diseases. After surgery, her disease was allotted to ‘stage IV’ epithelial ovarian cancer and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy was then used. However, her sputum culture showed positive growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 4 weeks later. For fear of reactivation of pulmonary tuberculosis, the anticancer cytotoxic chemotherapy was postponed and the antituberculous treatment was given instead. After 6-month course of antituberculous therapy, no active lung lesion was detectable. In conclusion, infectious or inflammatory conditions can mimic metastatic disease and therefore add to the difficulty of stage determination. We recommend that there must be positive cytologic or pathologic results of lung lesions to allot a case of ovarian cancer to stage IV. Furthermore, whenever pulmonary lesions are seen on imaging, the possibility of diagnoses other than metastatic ovarian cancer should always be considered.

  • metastasis
  • ovarian cancer
  • pulmonary tuberculosis

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