Germ Cell Tumors of the Ovary: A Review

Semin Diagn Pathol. 2023 Jan;40(1):22-36. doi: 10.1053/j.semdp.2022.07.004. Epub 2022 Jul 29.


Ovarian germ cell tumors are a diverse group of benign and malignant neoplasms that occur in a wide age range, but with a predilection for younger age group. The majority are represented by the frequently encountered mature cystic teratomas. Malignant germ cell tumors are uncommon, and in some cases have a characteristic clinical presentation. However, from a histologic standpoint these tumors can sometimes be challenging to diagnose due to overlapping morphology with epithelial, and in some cases sex cord tumors. In these cases, a panel of immunohistochemical stains often facilitates the correct diagnosis. This review article discusses the clinicopathologic findings and pertinent ancillary studies of both common and uncommon germ cell tumors of the ovary.

Keywords: Choriocarcinoma; Dysgerminoma; Embryonal carcinoma; Germ cell tumor; Ovary; Teratoma; Yolk sac tumor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dysgerminoma* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Teratoma* / pathology