Choroidal melanoma metastasized to the ovary: case report and review of the literature

Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2010;31(1):109-13.


Background: Malignant melanoma metastases to the female genital tract in only 2.5% of cases. Melanoma is characterized by clinical variability and unpredictable biological behavior with long remissions and relapses that develop rapidly.

Case and review: A 57-year-old woman was admitted for hypogastric pain and weight loss. She had presented enucleation of the right eye six years before for malignant choroid melanoma. Gynaecological examination revealed enlarged ovaries. Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, hysterectomy, and omentectomy were performed. Final pathology diagnosed a choroidal metastatic melanoma (CMM). The patient died seven months later. Only seven cases of CMM have been reported in the literature. Patients affected by CMM ranged in age from 38 to 83 years (median 51.2 years), the time to relapse ranged from 3-25 years (median 51.2 years), the size of the cysts ranged from 4-17 cm (median 9.7 cm) and the survival period ranged from 2-14 months (median 8.1 months).

Conclusion: Malignant melanoma is misdiagnosed because of lack of discriminatory symptoms, increased tumor markers, characteristic imaging findings and the capacity to mimic other tumors. Today CMM still represents a challenge for gynecologic oncologists.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Choroid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / diagnosis
  • Melanoma / secondary*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / secondary*