External Validation of the Ovarian-Adnexal Reporting and Data System (O-RADS) Lexicon and the International Ovarian Tumor Analysis 2-Step Strategy to Stratify Ovarian Tumors Into O-RADS Risk Groups

JAMA Oncol. 2023 Feb 1;9(2):225-233. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2022.5969.


Importance: Correct diagnosis of ovarian cancer results in better prognosis. Adnexal lesions can be stratified into the Ovarian-Adnexal Reporting and Data System (O-RADS) risk of malignancy categories with either the O-RADS lexicon, proposed by the American College of Radiology, or the International Ovarian Tumor Analysis (IOTA) 2-step strategy.

Objective: To investigate the diagnostic performance of the O-RADS lexicon and the IOTA 2-step strategy.

Design, setting, and participants: Retrospective external diagnostic validation study based on interim data of IOTA5, a prospective international multicenter cohort study, in 36 oncology referral centers or other types of centers. A total of 8519 consecutive adult patients presenting with an adnexal mass between January 1, 2012, and March 1, 2015, and treated either with surgery or conservatively were included in this diagnostic study. Twenty-five patients were excluded for withdrawal of consent, 2777 were excluded from 19 centers that did not meet predefined data quality criteria, and 812 were excluded because they were already in follow-up at recruitment. The analysis included 4905 patients with a newly detected adnexal mass in 17 centers that met predefined data quality criteria. Data were analyzed from January 31 to March 1, 2022.

Exposures: Stratification into O-RADS categories (malignancy risk <1%, 1% to <10%, 10% to <50%, and ≥50%). For the IOTA 2-step strategy, the stratification is based on the individual risk of malignancy calculated with the IOTA 2-step strategy.

Main outcomes and measures: Observed prevalence of malignancy in each O-RADS risk category, as well as sensitivity and specificity. The reference standard was the status of the tumor at inclusion, determined by histology or clinical and ultrasonographic follow-up for 1 year. Multiple imputation was used for uncertain outcomes owing to inconclusive follow-up information.

Results: Median age of the 4905 patients was 48 years (IQR, 36-62 years). Data on race and ethnicity were not collected. A total of 3441 tumors (70%) were benign, 978 (20%) were malignant, and 486 (10%) had uncertain classification. Using the O-RADS lexicon resulted in 1.1% (24 of 2196) observed prevalence of malignancy in O-RADS 2, 4% (34 of 857) in O-RADS 3, 27% (246 of 904) in O-RADS 4, and 78% (732 of 939) in O-RADS 5; the corresponding results for the IOTA 2-step strategy were 0.9% (18 of 1984), 4% (58 of 1304), 30% (206 of 690), and 82% (756 of 927). At the 10% risk threshold (O-RADS 4-5), the O-RADS lexicon had 92% sensitivity (95% CI, 87%-96%) and 80% specificity (95% CI, 74%-85%), and the IOTA 2-step strategy had 91% sensitivity (95% CI, 84%-95%) and 85% specificity (95% CI, 80%-88%).

Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this external diagnostic validation study suggest that both the O-RADS lexicon and the IOTA 2-step strategy can be used to stratify patients into risk groups. However, the observed malignancy rate in O-RADS 2 was not clearly below 1%.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adnexal Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Adnexal Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Adnexal Diseases* / pathology
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography / methods