The Role of Routine Peritoneal and Omental Biopsies at Risk-Reducing Salpingo-Oophorectomy

J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2017 Jul-Aug;24(5):772-776. doi: 10.1016/j.jmig.2017.03.001. Epub 2017 Mar 8.


Study objective: To assess the potential role of peritoneal and omental biopsies in women undergoing risk-reducing salpingo-oopherectomy (RRSO) for prophylactic management of hereditary breast/ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndromes.

Design: A retrospective observational cohort (Canadian Task Force classification II.1).

Setting: An academic gynecology practice.

Patients: All women who underwent RRSO for a high-risk BRCA1/2 mutation or deletion at a single institution between January 2003 and June 2016.

Interventions: After obtaining institutional review board approval, patient demographics, types of surgical intervention, histopathology reports, and outcomes were abstracted. Bilateral fallopian tubes were histologically evaluated using the "sectioning and extensively examining of the fimbriated end" protocol. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize findings.

Measurements and main results: Seventy women underwent RRSO within the study window; 60% (n = 42) carried a high-risk mutation in BRCA1, 37.1% (n = 26) carried a high-risk mutation in BRCA2, and 2.9% (n = 2) had a high-risk BRCA deletion identified by BRAC analysis rearrangement testing (BART). Serous tubal intraepithelial carcinomas were identified in the distal fallopian tube of 3 subjects. In addition to RRSO, subjects underwent pelvic washings (n = 58, 82.9%), omental biopsy (n = 44, 62.9%), peritoneal biopsies of the bilateral paracolic gutters (n = 51, 72.9%), anterior and posterior cul-de-sac (n = 53, 75.7%), and rectosigmoid mesentery (n = 11, 15.7%). Rare atypical cells favoring reactive cells were identified in pelvic washings of 1 subject (1.7%) with histologically normal fallopian tubes. No evidence of atypical mesothelial proliferations or carcinoma was identified in any omental or peritoneal biopsies. The mean duration of follow-up was 32.5 ± 24.7 months. At the last contact, 3 women (4.3%) had died of metastatic breast cancer, whereas another 3 (4.3%) had been diagnosed with a recurrence of their breast cancer. All other subjects were alive and well (n = 64, 91.4%).

Conclusion: The routine use of peritoneal and omental biopsies for women undergoing RRSO does not appear to improve detection of occult malignancy.

Keywords: BRCA1/2; Genetic susceptibility; Occult metastases; Ovarian cancer; Risk-reducing salpingo-oopherectomy.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • BRCA1 Protein / genetics
  • BRCA2 Protein / genetics
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / pathology
  • Cystadenocarcinoma, Serous / surgery
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / methods
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / pathology
  • Fallopian Tube Neoplasms / surgery
  • Fallopian Tubes / pathology
  • Fallopian Tubes / surgery
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1
  • Genes, BRCA2
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Omentum / pathology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Peritoneum / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Salpingo-oophorectomy / methods*


  • BRCA1 Protein
  • BRCA1 protein, human
  • BRCA2 Protein
  • BRCA2 protein, human

Supplementary concepts

  • Breast Cancer, Familial