Paraovarian/paratubal cysts: comparison of transvaginal sonographic and pathological findings to establish diagnostic criteria

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2006 Sep;28(3):330-4. doi: 10.1002/uog.2829.


Objectives: To describe the sonographic features of paraovarian cysts and to compare these features with pathological findings in order to define the best treatment options (surgical vs. conservative).

Methods: Fifty patients (mean age 48 (range, 14-68) years), each with a surgically proven paraovarian cyst, were retrospectively recruited. Preoperative transvaginal ultrasonographic B-mode and power Doppler observations were re-evaluated and histological reports were analyzed.

Results: All cysts were correctly diagnosed as paraovarian at preoperative transvaginal sonography (TVS). Paraovarian cysts appeared as unilocular ('simple') cysts in 33 (66%) cases and multilocular in two (4%). In 15 patients (30%) the cyst showed a variable number of papillary projections growing from the cyst wall (unilocular-solid cysts). Power Doppler examination of the papillae showed the presence of blood vessels in four of these patients (27%). Histological analysis of the masses containing papillary projections diagnosed eight cystadenofibromas, five cystadenomas and two serous papillary borderline tumors, while analysis of paraovarian cysts without papillations revealed benign, serous cysts of paramesonephric or mesothelial origin.

Conclusions: Paraovarian cysts can show a wide range of sonographic features. Their risk of malignancy is low if no papillary projections are detected at transvaginal sonography, but when mural proliferations are present a borderline tumor can be found at pathological examination.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cysts / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cysts / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fallopian Tubes / diagnostic imaging
  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Cysts / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ovarian Cysts / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Ovary / diagnostic imaging
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography