Imaging of gynecological disease (2): clinical and ultrasound characteristics of Sertoli cell tumors, Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors and Leydig cell tumors

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Jan;31(1):85-91. doi: 10.1002/uog.5227.


Objective: To describe the clinical history and ultrasound findings in women with ovarian Sertoli cell, Sertoli-Leydig cell and Leydig cell tumors.

Methods: Women with a histological diagnosis of Sertoli cell tumor, Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor or Leydig cell tumor who had undergone preoperative ultrasound examination were identified from the databases of each of three participating ultrasound centers. The tumors were characterized on the basis of ultrasound images, ultrasound reports and research protocols (when applicable) using the terms and definitions published by the International Ovarian Tumor Analysis (IOTA) group. In addition, all images were reviewed and described using pattern recognition.

Results: Of 22 patients identified, 15 had Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors, two had Sertoli cell tumors and five had Leydig cell tumors. Four patients were postmenopausal, one 48-year-old woman had undergone hysterectomy, 16 were of fertile age and one was a 4-year-old girl. Most patients (82%, 18/22) had endocrine symptoms, the most common being bleeding disturbance (64%, 14/22) and hirsutism (32%, 7/22). Twenty-two (96%) of 23 tumors (one woman had bilateral tumors) contained a solid component; 16 (70%) were purely solid. Pattern recognition showed that the Leydig cell tumors were small solid tumors (four of five had a largest diameter of 1-3 cm) and the two Sertoli cell tumors were somewhat larger solid tumors (4 cm and 7 cm); the Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors were either small (3-4 cm) or medium-sized (6-7 cm) solid tumors, or multilocular solid tumors of any size (3-18 cm) with purely solid areas mixed with areas of innumerable closely packed small cyst locules.

Conclusions: On the basis of endocrine symptoms, the woman's age and ultrasound findings, it should be possible to suggest a correct preoperative diagnosis of Sertoli cell, Sertoli-Leydig cell or Leydig cell tumors in many cases.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor / metabolism
  • Sertoli-Leydig Cell Tumor / pathology
  • Ultrasonography


  • Biomarkers, Tumor