Ovarian Cystic Teratoma in Pregnant Women: Conservative Management or Prophylactic Oophorectomy?

Cureus. 2021 Aug 21;13(8):e17354. doi: 10.7759/cureus.17354. eCollection 2021 Aug.


Acute abdominal pain in pregnancy is common and the differential diagnosis is vast. Mature cystic teratomas are rarely the cause of adnexal torsion during pregnancy and can be difficult to diagnose. Timely surgical intervention is required to avoid ovarian infarction. We report a 22-year-old patient presenting with sudden right lower abdominal pain. Imaging including bedside Doppler ultrasonography and MRI were negative for signs of acute ovarian torsion. Despite no definitive imaging findings, due to severe pain, we made the decision for diagnostic multi-port laparoscopic examination with possible oophorectomy. The right cystic ovary was noted to be torsed three times around the utero-ovarian ligament. A right oophorectomy was performed. Grossly, cystic teratoma was confirmed with a large amount of hair and sebum, and pathological analysis also confirmed a benign mature teratoma. The patient recovered well and delivered without any complications. Bedside ultrasonography is a highly accessible tool; however, imaging can be uncertain. Despite the rarity of ovarian torsion due to mature teratomas in second- and third-trimester pregnancies, physicians should be aware of the possibility of acute ovarian torsion in a pregnant patient even with uncertain imaging results, especially those with a documented ovarian mass. Early prophylactic surgical intervention preferably with laparoscopy should be pursued for ovarian masses between 5 cm and 10 cm.

Keywords: dermoid cyst in pregnant woman; laparoscopic oophorectomy; mature cystic teratoma; ovarian torsion; pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports