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Management of ovarian masses in pregnancy: patient selection for interventional treatment


Objective The management of pregnant women with an adnexal tumor is still challenging and in the literature few data are available. The aim of this study was to describe the management and outcome of patients with ovarian masses detected during pregnancy. As secondary aims, we evaluated the prevalence of malignancy in the International Ovarian Tumor Analysis (IOTA) morphological classes of ovarian masses diagnosed during pregnancy, and created an algorithm for the management of patients with adnexal masses during pregnancy.

Methods This was a retrospective single centered study including patients with adnexal masses detected at any trimester during pregnancy between January 2000 and December 2019. Clinical, ultrasound, surgical, and histological data were retrieved from medical records as well as information on management (ultrasound follow-up vs surgery). Indications for surgery were recorded in terms of suspicion of malignancy based on pattern recognition of the ultrasound examiner or on symptoms or prevention of complications, such as torsion, rupture, or obstacle to normal full-term pregnancy. All masses were described using IOTA terminology.

Results A total of 113 patients were selected for the analysis. Of these, 48 (42%) patients had surveillance and 65 (58%) patients underwent surgery (11 primary ovarian tumors, one recurrence of ovarian cancer, four metastases to the ovary, 20 borderline tumors, and 29 benign lesions). Indications for surgery were suspicious malignancy in 41/65 (63.1%) cases and symptoms or prevention of complications in 24/65 (36.9%) cases. All patients in the surveillance group showed no morphological changes of the ovarian lesions at 6 months after delivery. According to the IOTA ultrasound morphological category, the prevalence of malignancy was 0% (0/37) in the unilocular cyst group, 27% (4/15) in the multilocular group, 35% (11/31) in the unilocular solid group, 70% (14/20) in the multilocular solid group, and 70% (7/10) in the solid group. Neither obstetric nor neonatal complications were reported for patients in the surveillance group or in those with benign, borderline, or primary epithelial invasive histology. In contrast, two neonatal deaths were observed in patients with ovarian choriocarcinoma and ovarian metastases. Three of the four patients with ovarian metastases died after pregnancy.

Conclusions IOTA ultrasound morphological classification seems useful in the characterization of ovarian masses during pregnancy. A clinical and morphological based algorithm for counseling patients has been designed.

  • surgery
  • ovarian neoplasms
  • pregnancy complications
  • neoplastic

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