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Background

These uncommon tumors of the ovary are classified as other epithelial tumors of the ovary into benign, borderline or low-malignant potential and malignant.

OUTLINE

Disease Associations  
Pathogenesis  
Laboratory/Radiologic/Other Diagnostic Testing  
Gross Appearance and Clinical Variants  
Histopathological Features and Variants  
Differential Diagnosis  
Commonly Used Terms  

 

DISEASE ASSOCIATIONS CHARACTERIZATION
BRCA1 AND BRCA2 MUTATIONS  



Unexpected gynecologic neoplasms in patients with proven or suspected BRCA-1 or -2 mutations: implications for gross examination, cytology, and clinical follow-up.

Agoff SN, Mendelin JE, Grieco VS, Garcia RL.

Department of Cytology, Harborview Medical Center/University of Washington Medical Center, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195-6100, U.S.A.

Am J Surg Pathol 2002 Feb;26(2):171-8 Abstract quote

Identification of inheritable mutations associated with the development of malignancy has led to prophylactic surgeries to remove tissues at risk.

We report seven unrelated patients with family histories of breast and/or ovarian cancer, five of whom underwent prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy with hysterectomy. Four had proven BRCA-1 or -2 mutations. Malignant cells were found unexpectedly in the peritoneal washings of two patients, leading to the discovery of early-stage fallopian tube carcinoma. After changing the sampling technique at our institution, two more cases of unexpected fallopian tube carcinoma in situ were discovered. Another patient had a significant family history and underwent hysterectomy for uterine fibroids, leading to the discovery of fallopian tube carcinoma. Another patient with BRCA-1 mutation had unexpected widespread primary peritoneal papillary serous adenocarcinoma. The final patient had a borderline malignant clear cell adenofibroma.

These cases underscore the importance of peritoneal cytology and thorough sampling in the management of patients undergoing hysterectomy with a family history of breast/ovarian cancer and/or known BRCA-1/BRCA-2 mutations. As prophylactic surgeries are becoming more common secondary to advances in molecular diagnostics, pathologists need to be aware that surgical specimens from these patients may require more rigorous examination to uncover early neoplastic changes.

BREAST CANCER AND THYROID DISEASE  


The association of benign and malignant ovarian adenofibromas with breast cancer and thyroid disorders.

Silva EG, Tornos C, Malpica A, Deavers MT, Tortolero-Luna G, Gershenson DM.

Department of Pathology, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

Int J Surg Pathol 2002 Jan;10(1):33-9 Abstract quote

An unexpected association with breast cancer and thyroid disorders was found during a review of 91 cases of benign and malignant ovarian adenofibromas. Sixty-three tumors were benign, 11 had areas of borderline neoplasms, and 17 had a component of carcinoma. Such tumors were divided into glandular/cystic (61 cases) and papillary (30 cases) according to their gross and microscopic appearance.

Among the 61 patients with glandular/cystic adenofibromas, 13 (21%) had breast cancer and 19 (31%) also had thyroid disorders. Among the 30 patients with papillary adenofibromas there were no cases of breast cancer and only 2 patients had thyroid disorders. The average age of the patients with ovarian adenofibroma and breast cancer or thyroid disorders was higher (66 years) than that of patients without breast cancer or thyroid disorders (55 years). More patients with breast cancer and thyroid disorders had bilateral adenofibromas than patients without breast cancer or thyroid disorders.

We also reviewed the medical records of 100 patients with ovarian cancer without adenofibroma component, 100 patients with breast cancer, and 100 patients with ovarian and breast cancer. Six percent of patients with ovarian cancer had breast cancer and 16% of each one of these groups had thyroid disorders. This unexpected association found between glandular/cystic adenofibromas, breast cancer, and thyroid disorders might be explained by defects common to these organs.

Disorders of some of these organs have been linked by common genetic changes and it is known that these organs are under the influence of similar hormones. Mutations of PTEN have been found in breast and thyroid cancer. The thyroid and ovaries are controlled by glycoprotein hormones of the pituitary gland, which have common alpha subunits.

 

PATHOGENESIS CHARACTERIZATION
   

 

LABORATORY/RADIOLOGIC/
OTHER TESTS

CHARACTERIZATION
RADIOLOGIC  


Sonographic features of ovarian cystadenofibromas: spectrum of findings.

Alcazar JL, Errasti T, Minguez JA, Galan MJ, Garcia-Manero M, Ceamanos C.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Clinica Universitaria de Navarra, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.

J Ultrasound Med 2001 Aug;20(8):915-9 Abstract quote

OBJECTIVE: To describe the sonographic characteristics of ovarian cystadenofibromas.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 23 ovarian tumors histopathologically confirmed as ovarian cystadenofibromas that were preoperatively evaluated by transvaginal color Doppler sonography.

RESULTS: In all cases the mass was predominantly cystic. Septations appeared in 30.4% of the tumors. Papillary projections or solid nodules appeared in 56.5% of the cases. The most frequent appearance was a unilocular complex cystic mass. In 47.8% of the tumors, vascularization was detected, having a typical pattern of peripheral vascularization with scattered vessels of high blood flow impedance.

CONCLUSIONS: We have described the sonographic spectrum of findings of ovarian cystadenofibromas. The most frequent appearance was a unilocular cystic mass with gross papillary projections or solid nodules. In almost half of the tumors, vascularization could be detected.

LABORATORY MARKERS  


Significant increases in serum CA125 and CA19-9 following torsion from an adenofibroma of the ovary: a case report.

Fujiwara K, Moriya T, Mikami Y, Hiratsuka J, Sawada S, Imajo Y, Kohno I.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 1994 Apr;24(2):116-9 Abstract quote

Significant increases in the serum levels of cancer antigen 125 (CA125) and carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) were observed over one month prior to the removal of an ovarian adenofibroma.

The serum levels of CA125 and CA19-9 decreased rapidly after surgery. The surface of the tumor at surgery showed marked inflammation, probably induced by the necrosis produced by torsion. Pathologically, most of the tumor was necrotic, and histoimmunochemical staining of the viable cells was weak for CA125 but intense for CA19-9.

Clinicopathological observations of the case suggested that CA125 and CA19-9 might be stimulated in the cells by inflammation or that originally existing CA125 and CA19-9 were released from the tumor cells following the cell necrosis.

 

GROSS APPEARANCE/
CLINICAL VARIANTS
CHARACTERIZATION
GENERAL  
VARIANTS  
HYPERREACTIO LUTEINALIS  

Bilateral serous cystadenofibromas clinically simulating hyperreactio luteinalis following controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and in vitro fertilization.

Ditkoff EC, Tucker T, Levine RU, Lindheim SR, Sauer MV, Longacre T.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.

J Assist Reprod Genet 1997 Apr;14(4):230-3 Abstract quote

We report a case of bilateral serous cystadenofibromas clinically simulating hyperreactio luteinalis during a normal pregnancy resulting from controlled ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization. Incomplete regression at 2-year follow-up prompted surgical intervention.

This case demonstrates that the clinical and sonographic features that have been associated with hyperreactio luteinalis are not specific for this condition and emphasizes the need for close clinical follow-up in all presumptive cases for which a histologic diagnosis has not been established.

PARAOVARIAN  

Multicentric ovarian and extraovarian cystadenofibroma.

Hafiz MA, Toker C.

Obstet Gynecol 1986 Sep;68(3 Suppl):94S-98S Abstract quote

A case of multicentric ovarian and diffuse pelvic cystadenofibroma is described. Despite multicentricity, the histologic findings are completely benign. Electron microscopy was performed and possible mesothelial origin is discussed.


Paraovarian cystadenomas and cystadenofibromas: sonographic characteristics in 14 cases.

Korbin CD, Brown DL, Welch WR.

Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Radiology 1998 Aug;208(2):459-62 Abstract quote

PURPOSE: To describe the sonographic features of paraovarian cystadenomas.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We searched the computerized pathology and radiology databases for cases of histopathologically proved paraovarian cystadenomas from January 1993 through December 1996 in which preoperative sonography had also been performed. Fourteen paraovarian cystadenomas or cystadenofibromas were identified in 14 patients aged 20-57 years. Sonographic and pathologic findings were correlated.

RESULTS: Three of the masses appeared as simple cysts sonographically. Of the remaining 11 masses, nine had solid nodular areas within the cyst; three had septations; and four had a thick wall, an irregular wall, or both at sonography. At sonography, four masses were thought to arise outside the ovary, four were erroneously thought to arise in the ovary, and the location was uncertain in six.

CONCLUSION: Paraovarian cystadenomas are cystic masses that usually contain one or more small solid nodules and occasionally contain septations.

 

HISTOLOGICAL TYPES CHARACTERIZATION
GENERAL  


Cystadenofibromas of the ovary with epithelial atypia.

Kao GF, Norris HJ.

Am J Surg Pathol 1978 Dec;2(4):357-63 Abstract quote

Epithelial atypia is rarely encountered in ovarian cystadenofibromas.

Ten examples are reported with cytological features identical to serous tumors with low malignant potential. In two neoplasms the epithelium resembled an atypical endometrial hyperplasia, and one of these had squamous metaplasia. These two neoplasms probably qualify as endometrioid tumors of low malignant potential. None of the 10 patients had recurrence following excision of their neoplasm, and no similar patients have been encountered with neoplasms in more advanced stages. Even though aggressive behavior has not yet been established, the histologic features suggest a low degree of malignant potential and long-term follow-up of patients is warranted.

Cystadenofibromas iwth epithelial atypia probably have less malignant potential than serous tumors of low malignant potential possessing the same epithelial characteristics because cystadenofibromas with atypia have less epithelial surface area and the epithelium is enveloped by connective tissue more than it is in serous tumors of low malignant potential.

VARIANTS  
ADENOSARCOMA  


Adenosarcoma of the ovary. A light- and electron-microscopic study with review of the literature.

Czernobilsky B, Gillespie JJ, Roth LM.

Diagn Gynecol Obstet 1982 Spring;4(1):25-36 Abstract quote

This is a light- and electron-microscopic study of a large ovarian adenosarcoma in a 50-year-old woman as well as a review of the literature. The tumor showed a variety of mullerian type epithelia and a spectrum of stromal patterns including nonspecific fibroblastic, and endometrial type stroma. The latter ranged from normal-appearing to low-grade sarcoma.

This study emphasizes the relationship of ovarian adenosarcoma to cystadenofibroma, on the one hand, and to malignant mixed mullerian (mesodermal) tumor, on the other. It appears that the mitotic count which is used as the primary means for the classification of smooth muscle and stromal tumors of the uterus, has less value in the assessment and prognostication of ovarian adenosarcomas.

CLEAR CELL  


Ovarian clear cell adenofibromatous tumors. Benign, of low malignant potential, and associated with invasive clear cell carcinoma.

Roth LM, Langley FA, Fox H, Wheeler JE, Czernobilsky B.

Cancer 1984 Mar 1;53(5):1156-63 Abstract quote

The authors have studied 17 cases of ovarian clear cell tumors having an adenofibromatous pattern and classified them on a histologic basis into three categories: benign, of low malignant potential, and associated with invasive clear cell carcinoma.

Clear cell adenofibroma is characterized by orderly tubules and glands lined by uniform epithelium with little or no nuclear atypia set in an abundant stroma with an interlacing pattern resembling ovarian stroma. Clear cell adenofibromatous tumors of low malignant potential had a similar stroma, but exhibited moderate to marked degrees of epithelial proliferation and atypia. In the third category there were cases of invasive clear cell carcinoma in which a distinct portion of the tumor met the criteria for clear cell adenofibroma, or clear cell adenofibromatous tumor of low malignant potential. Cases of invasive clear cell carcinoma exhibiting a desmoplastic reaction or a diffuse fibrous stroma, but lacking typical adenofibromatous areas, were not included in this study.

The benign and low malignant potential tumors showed no clinical evidence of aggressive behavior, whereas those associated with invasive clear cell carcinoma often did. Although there have been no recurrences in our small group of patients with tumors of low malignant potential, the histologic similarity of the epithelium in these tumors to that seen in invasive carcinomas justifies such a categorization.

Further studies of larger series using the proposed classification should yield more information concerning the biologic behavior of these types of clear cell adenofibromatous tumors.

ENDOMETRIOID ADENOCARCINOMA  


Ovarian endometrioid adenocarcinoma coexistent with benign and borderline endometrioid adenofibroma: a case report.

Ushijima K, Nishida T, Muraoka Y, Sugiyama T, Okura N, Shinagawa A, Imaishi K, Yakushiji M.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kurume University School of Medicine, Japan.

J Obstet Gynaecol Res 1998 Apr;24(2):161-6 Abstract quote

A well-differentiated endometrioid adenocarcinoma coexistent with benign and borderline-malignant endometrioid adenofibroma was found in the ovary of a 64-year-old woman. She had vaginal bleeding caused by simple hyperplasia of the endometrium due to high levels of sex steroid hormones.

A FIGO stage Ia solid ovarian tumor was identified. It was composed of irregularly shaped endometriotic glands with benign and borderline malignant cytologic features embedded in abundant fibromatous stroma. Well-differentiated malignant epithelium was adjacent to these areas, but fibromatous stroma was not predominant. She was treated by surgery and three cycles of chemotherapy.

This paper describes this unusual tumor and reviews the literature.

MUCINOUS ADENOFIBROMA  


Mucinous adenofibromas of the ovary. A report of 10 cases.

Bell DA.

Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Am J Surg Pathol 1991 Mar;15(3):227-32 Abstract quote

Mucinous epithelium is the most uncommon type identified in ovarian adenofibromas. Because of the rarity of mucinous adenofibromas and the presence of cytologic atypia in some, these neoplasms may be mistaken for low-grade metastatic adenocarcinoma.

The clinicopathologic features of 10 mucinous adenofibromas are reviewed. They occurred in women 24 to 76 (mean, 51) years of age, were unilateral, and ranged in diameter from 1 to 25 cm. Seven tumors were classified as benign, containing glands lined by a single layer of mucin-containing columnar cells. Three tumors that contained crowded glands lined by mucin-containing cells with mild to moderate nuclear atypia, nuclear stratification of up to three cells in thickness, and focal tufting were classified as benign with epithelial atypia. Most women had a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

Follow-up information was available on six women, who were alive and well from 6 to 126 (mean 41) months after diagnosis. The identification of mucinous glands in typical fibromatous stroma should allow the distinction of these benign neoplasms from metastatic carcinomas


Mucinous adenofibroma of the ovary: case report of the endocrinologic findings.

Tohya T, Mizutani H, Katabuchi H, Miyazaki K, Okamura H.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Kumamoto University School of Medicine, Japan.

Gynecol Oncol 1994 Aug;54(2):218-21 Abstract quote

Endocrine and clinicopathologic findings in a 77-year-old woman with ovarian mucinous adenofibroma of borderline malignancy are reported. The preoperative levels of testosterone, androstenedione, estrone, and estradiol in her peripheral blood were 91 ng/ml, 3.78 ng/ml, 82 pg/ml, and 35 pg/ml, respectively, abnormally high. Those of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were < 0.5 mIU/ml and 12.1 mIU/ml, respectively. Total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy were performed.

Pathologic diagnosis of the right ovarian tumor was mucinous adenofibroma of borderline malignancy with hyperthecosis. Postoperatively, the levels of sex steroids and gonadotropin returned to the normal range of a postmenopausal woman. The patient remains well 2 years and 6 months after the operation.

 

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS KEY DIFFERENTIATING FEATURES
ENDOMETRIOID ADENOFIBROMAS  


Ovarian endometrioid adenofibromatous and cystadenofibromatous tumors: benign, proliferating, and malignant.

Roth LM, Czernobilsky B, Langley FA.

Cancer 1981 Oct 15;48(8):1838-45 Abstract quote

Ovarian endometrioid tumors with an adenofibromatous pattern have been described but the entire spectrum of these tumors has not been analyzed.

A series of ten cases was studied and divided into two benign, four proliferating, and four malignant tumors on the basis of their morphologic characteristics. The most useful criterion for distinguishing proliferating from benign adenofibromatous tumors is increased epithelial proliferation, associated with glandular complexity and crowding in the former. Proliferating tumors may represent one form of the endometrioid tumor of borderline malignancy.

The presence of a confluent growth pattern with invasion of the stroma distinguishes malignant from proliferating tumors. The various tumors in this group frequently show squamous metaplasia and are often associated with endometriosis. Because of the relatively small series, the biologic behavior of these histologic variants cannot be evaluated at this time.

Rosai J. Ackerman's Surgical Pathology. Eight Edition. Mosby 1996.
Sternberg S. Diagnostic Surgical Pathology. Third Edition. Lipincott Williams and Wilkins 1999.


Commonly Used Terms

Ovary


Last Updated 5/21/2002


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