Metastases from carcinomas of the pancreas simulating primary mucinous tumors of the ovary. A report of seven cases

Am J Surg Pathol. 1989 Sep;13(9):748-56. doi: 10.1097/00000478-198909000-00004.


We report seven patients with mucinous tumors of the ovary that we interpreted as metastases from adenocarcinomas of the exocrine pancreas. The ovarian metastases closely resembled primary mucinous tumors of the ovary. The patients' ages ranged from 29 to 87 years (average, 63 years). The ovarian and pancreatic tumors were discovered synchronously in five patients. In two patients, the pancreatic tumor preceded the ovarian tumor by 9 months and 8.5 years, respectively. In four patients, the clinical presentation simulated primary ovarian cancer. The ovarian tumors were typically large, multiloculated cystic neoplasms. Six of them were bilateral; the status of the opposite ovary is not known in one case. Microscopically, they manifested varying degrees of differentiation, usually containing foci resembling mucinous cystadenoma, mucinous tumor of borderline malignancy, and well-differentiated mucinous cystadenocarcinoma. The primary pancreatic tumors were typical ductal adenocarcinomas in six patients and mucinous cystadenocarcinoma in the seventh. Features pointing toward the metastatic nature of the ovarian tumors included bilaterality, surface desmoplastic implants, and extraovarian spread. The possibility of metastases should be strongly considered whenever evaluating mucinous ovarian tumors, especially those that are bilateral or have other unusual features. The pancreas is an important source of metastatic tumors that simulate primary ovarian mucinous cystadenocarcinomas and borderline tumors.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Mesentery / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Omentum / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Peritoneum / pathology