Ovarian carcinoma associated with pregnancy: a clinicopathologic analysis of 23 cases and review of the literature

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2008 Jan 20;8:3. doi: 10.1186/1471-2393-8-3.


Background: The aim of this study was to analyze and describe cases of ovarian cancer in pregnant women treated at our center and to review the literature concerned, and to discuss the rationale for therapy.

Methods: Twenty-Three patients of ovarian malignancies during pregnancy were treated at Vali- Asr Hospital between 1991 and 2002. Data on treatment and follow-up were evaluated.

Results: The incidence of ovarian carcinoma associated with pregnancy in our series was 0.083/1000 deliveries. Eleven (47.8%) were found with ovarian malignant germ cell tumors, five (21.7%) with low malignant potential tumors, four (17.4%) with invasive epithelial tumors, and three (13%) with sex cord stromal tumors. Seventeen (73.9%) of the patients were diagnosed in stage I and had complete remission. Five of the six in advanced stage died. The mean follow-up was 36.3 months. The prognosis was significantly related with stage and histological type (P < 0.05). Sixteen healthy live babies were recorded in this group, and two premature newborn died of respiratory distress syndrome. Chemotherapy was administered to 44% of the patients, in two cases during pregnancy. Overall survival at 5 years was 61%. In most of case conservative surgical treatment could be performed with adequate staging and debulking.

Conclusion: Early finding of ascitis by ultrasound and persistent large ovarian mass during pregnancy may be related to malignancy and advanced stage. Pregnant women in advanced stage of ovarian cancer seem to have poor prognosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cesarean Section / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic* / pathology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic* / therapy
  • Pregnancy Outcome*
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies