Immature ovarian teratoma in an adolescent: a case report and review of the literature

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2004 Jun;17(3):187-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2004.03.039.


Background: Benign cystic teratomas are relatively common tumors in reproductive age women, but can occur at any age. While the incidence of malignant elements in a teratoma is low (approximately 1-2%), the survival of patients with immature teratoma is poor. Definitive diagnosis is mandatory.

Case: We describe a case of a 13-year-old African American female, gravida 0, presenting with a large pelvic mass, determined to be a benign cystic teratoma by intra-operative frozen section. However, due to the size of the tumor and the preponderance of neural elements we performed a full surgical staging procedure (excluding hysterectomy and complete removal of adnexa). The final pathology report revealed foci of immature neural tissue, with a final diagnosis of an immature cystic teratoma Stage Ia.

Conclusion: Foci of immature neural elements can be readily missed on frozen section, especially with a large tumor. Full surgical staging at the time of initial laparotomy is justified when encountering an apparently mature cystic teratoma with a preponderance of neural elements on frozen section.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparotomy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Teratoma / diagnosis*
  • Teratoma / pathology
  • Teratoma / surgery