Incidental Finding of Bilateral Ovarian Adrenal Rest Tumor in a Patient With Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia: A Case Report and Brief Review

Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2021 Mar-Apr;24(2):137-141. doi: 10.1177/1093526620980614. Epub 2021 Jan 12.


Ovarian adrenal rest tumors (OART) are tumors that develop in females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH). In contrast to their counterpart in testicles, they are exceptional and few cases have been reported in the literature. In this report, we present clinicopathological findings of a female patient with CAH due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency who was incidentally diagnosed with OART with a review of the literature. The 14-year-old patient, who was raised as a boy, developed a virilizing syndrome with high testosterone levels that were attributed to non adherence to her replacement corticosteroid therapy. She consulted for sex reassignment surgery. Pelvic ultrasound was normal. She underwent hysterectomy and bilateral adnexectomy. No abnormalities were noticed during the operation. Grossly, both ovaries were variegated with well circumscribed and lobulated, brownish-yellow nodules. Histologically, the nodules were composed of nests of large polygonal cells with centrally located nuclei and prominent nucleoli. There was mild atypia and no crystals of Reinke. Thus, the findings of the histopathological examination were consistent with bilateral OART. Histological differential diagnosis of OART can be challenging particularly with leydig cell tumor, stromal luteoma and steroid cell tumors, not otherwise specified. OART must be considered in women with CAH and persistent virilizing symptoms despite negative imaging results.

Keywords: Adrenal rest tumor; adrenogenital syndrome; congenital adrenal hyperplasia; ovarian adrenal rest tumor; testicular adrenal rest tumor; virilization.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital / complications*
  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Adrenal Hyperplasia, Congenital / surgery
  • Adrenal Rest Tumor / diagnosis*
  • Adrenal Rest Tumor / etiology
  • Adrenal Rest Tumor / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidental Findings
  • Male
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / etiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / surgery
  • Sex Reassignment Procedures*
  • Transgender Persons
  • Virilism

Supplementary concepts

  • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia due to 21 hydroxylase deficiency