Paratubal Cyst Size Correlates With Obesity and Dysregulation of the Wnt Signaling Pathway

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2017 Oct;30(5):571-577. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2017.04.002. Epub 2017 Apr 27.


Study objective: Paratubal cysts (PTCs) occur in 7%-10% of women, regardless of age. Although common, PTCs often are found incidentally because of the potential for these cysts to be asymptomatic. The specific aims of the study were to determine if PTC number and size correlated with signs of hyperandrogenism and obesity, as well as to investigate the molecular profiles of these PTCs in samples derived from female adolescents. DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, INTERVENTIONS, AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A prospective cohort study was performed in a single children's hospital. Girls 18 years of age or younger who underwent surgery for PTC suspected on the basis of the presence of a persistent adnexal cyst on imaging or a concern for adnexal torsion involving a cyst were consented to participate in the study.

Results: Nineteen patients met enrollment criteria with a mean age at menarche of 11.2 ± 1.3 years. Most of the patients (84%; n = 16/19) had adnexal torsion at the time of diagnosis of PTC. Irregular menses and hirsutism was found in 52.6% (n = 10/19) of the patients, among whom 36.8% (n = 7/19) were obese. The mean PTC size was 10.4 ± 4.3 cm with 57.9% (n = 11/19) of the cohort having more than 1 PTC. When patients were compared on the basis of their body mass index, the size of PTCs was significantly larger in the overweight/obese group. The wingless-type (WNT) signaling members catenin beta 1 (CTNBB1) and wingless-type MMTV integration site family, member 7A (WNT7A) were upregulated in 86% (n = 12/14) and 79% (n = 11/14) of the patients, respectively. WNT7A was significantly upregulated in girls with 1 cyst and low body mass index.

Conclusion: A correlation exists between obesity, cyst size, and hyperandrogenism. Activation of the WNT/CTNBB1 pathway via WNT7A might play a role in PTC development.

Keywords: Androgens; CTNBB1; Obesity; Paratubal cyst; SMAD2; WNT7A.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hirsutism
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Hyperandrogenism / complications*
  • Menarche
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Parovarian Cyst / complications*
  • Parovarian Cyst / metabolism
  • Parovarian Cyst / surgery
  • Prospective Studies
  • Wnt Proteins / metabolism*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway


  • WNT7A protein, human
  • Wnt Proteins