Uterine metastases in ovarian carcinoma: frequency and survival in women who underwent hysterectomy

J Gynecol Oncol. 2010 Sep;21(3):191-5. doi: 10.3802/jgo.2010.21.3.191. Epub 2010 Sep 28.


Objective: Possible reasons for hysterectomy in the initial surgical management of advanced invasive epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC) might be a high frequency of uterine involvement and its impact on survival. The aim of the present study was to describe the frequency of uterine involvement and its association with survival in an unselected population of EOC patients who underwent hysterectomy.

Methods: All incident cases of EOC diagnosed in Israeli Jewish women between March 1994 to June 1999, were identified within the framework of a nationwide case-control epidemiological study. The target population of the present report includes all stage II-IV EOC patients who had a uterus at the time of diagnosis. Of the 822 such patients, 695 fulfilled the inclusion criterion. Excluded were 141 patients for various reasons. The present analysis is based on the remaining 554 patients.

Results: Uterine involvement was present in 291 (52.5%) of the patients and it was macroscopic in only 78 (14.1%). The serosa was the most common site of isolated metastases. Multivariate analysis showed that advanced stage significantly increased the risk for uterine involvement. The overall median survival with any uterine involvement was significantly lower compared to those with no involvement (38.9 months vs. 58.0 months; p<0.001).

Conclusion: There is an association between uterine involvement, whether macro- or microscopic, and lower survival even after hysterectomy although residual tumor could not be included in the analysis. Further studies are required to establish whether uterine involvement itself is an unfavorable risk factor or merely a marker of other unfavorable prognostic factors.

Keywords: Epithelial ovarian carcinoma; Survival; Uterine involvement.