Retroperitoneal nodal metastasis in primary and recurrent granulosa cell tumors of the ovary

Gynecol Oncol. 2006 Oct;103(1):31-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2006.01.050. Epub 2006 Mar 13.


Objective: To describe the incidence of retroperitoneal pelvic or paraaortic lymph node metastasis in patients with primary and recurrent ovarian granulosa cell tumors.

Methods: At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, we conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients with ovarian granulosa cell tumors managed as inpatients from January 1991 to July 2005. The initial date of diagnosis ranged from 1971 to 2005.

Results: We identified 68 patients with a median age of 49 years (mean, 47.5 years; range, 19-78 years). Sixty-four (94%) patients had adult type and 4 (6%) had juvenile granulosa cell tumors. Fifty-three (78%) patients had their initial surgery at another institution and 55 (81%) were incompletely surgically staged at diagnosis due to the absence of pelvic and/or aortic lymph node dissection. Patients were assigned an International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage that included IA, 39; IC, 15; IIB, 3; IIC, 3; IIIC, 1. In 7 patients, the original stage was not assigned. Only 16 (24%) patients had a pelvic lymph node sampling and 13 (19%) also had a paraaortic lymph node sampling at primary surgery or at restaging surgery performed shortly following initial diagnosis; however, in these cases, lymph nodes were negative for metastasis. The median number of pelvic lymph nodes removed was 10 (mean, 11.6 nodes; range, 0-36 nodes). The median number of paraaortic lymph nodes removed was 4 (mean, 6 nodes; range, 0-19 nodes). Nine of 15 (60%) of patients managed initially at our institution were surgically staged compared to 4 of 53 (7.5%) who were managed initially elsewhere (P < 0.001). Thirty-four patients with recurrent granulosa cell tumors were managed during the study, 31 (91%) had adult type granulosa cell tumor, and 3 had juvenile histology. Thirty-three of 34 patients who recurred were incompletely surgically staged at the initial operation. Original "clinical" FIGO stage for patients who recurred included IA, 15; IC, 8; IIB, 1; IIC, 3; IIIC, 1; and in 6 patients, the original stage was not available. The median disease-free interval to first recurrence was 63 months (mean,69.4 months; range, 4-170 months). First recurrence sites included pelvis, 24/34 (70%); pelvis and abdomen, 3 (9%); retroperitoneum only, 2 (6%); pelvis and retroperitoneum, 2 (6%); pelvis/abdomen/retroperitoneum, 1(3%); abdomen only, 1 (3%); and bone, 1 (3%).

Conclusions: Complete surgical staging was performed in approximately 1/5 women with ovarian granulosa cell tumors; however, in those initially surgically staged, no nodal metastasis was identified. Clinical stage IA disease was the most common original diagnosis in women who recurred, and approximately 15% of first recurrences appear to involve the retroperitoneum.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / pathology*
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / secondary*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Retroperitoneal Space
  • Retrospective Studies