Imaging in gynecological disease (11): clinical and ultrasound features of mucinous ovarian tumors

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2017 Aug;50(2):261-270. doi: 10.1002/uog.17222. Epub 2017 Jun 22.


Objective: To describe the clinical and ultrasound findings in patients with mucinous ovarian tumors.

Methods: In this retrospective study, women with a histological diagnosis of mucinous ovarian tumor who had undergone preoperative ultrasound examination were identified from the database of a single ultrasound center. The histological examination was performed by the same pathologist in all cases, and the ultrasound appearance of the tumors was described using the terms and definitions of the International Ovarian Tumor Analysis group.

Results: We identified 123 women with a histological diagnosis of mucinous ovarian tumor, of whom 57 (46%) had benign cystadenoma, 34 (28%) had gastrointestinal (GI)-type borderline tumor, 10 (8%) had endocervical-type borderline tumor and 22 (18%) had GI-type invasive carcinoma. On ultrasound examination, 65% (37/57) of cystadenomas were multilocular, of which 59% had ≤ 10 locules, and 79% (27/34) of GI-type borderline tumors were multilocular, of which 89% had > 10 locules. Conversely, 60% (6/10) of endocervical-type borderline tumors had papillations. Eighty-two percent (18/22) of invasive masses contained solid components and 55% (12/22) were multilocular-solid cysts. Bilateral mucinous cystadenomas were found in two women (4% of women with benign tumors) and bilateral borderline tumors of endocervical type in two women (20% of women with borderline tumors of endocervical type). No woman had a bilateral GI-type borderline tumor or a bilateral invasive tumor.

Conclusions: A multilocular cyst with 2-10 locules is representative of a benign cystadenoma, whereas a multilocular cyst with > 10 locules is indicative of a GI-type borderline tumor. Most invasive tumors of mucinous GI-type contain solid components, the most typical ultrasound appearance being that of a multilocular-solid tumor. Papillary projections are typical features of endocervical-type borderline tumors. Copyright © 2016 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords: histology; mucinous; multilocular cyst; ovarian tumor; ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / diagnostic imaging*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Preoperative Care
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color
  • Young Adult