A Metastasis of Ovarian Cancer in the Bartholin Gland: A Case Report with Systematic Literature Review

Reprod Sci. 2024 Feb;31(2):550-554. doi: 10.1007/s43032-023-01373-y. Epub 2023 Oct 4.


The metastasis of a gynecological malignancy to the Bartholin gland is rare. We report the case of a 62-year-old patient who had undergone extensive treatment of metastatic ovarian cancer that involved the liver, spleen, and peritoneum. She presented with painful swelling of the left vulva. Clinical and sonographic examinations showed a solid tumor in loco typico of the Bartholin gland. Surgical excision was performed. The patient died 3 months after the diagnosis of this metastasis. We performed a systematic search of PubMed, which yielded 453 entries. We selected those with at least an abstract available in English that described metastatic lesions on the Bartholin gland (n = 5). The review showed that a variety of primary cancers (colorectal, medullary thyroid, breast cancer, and endometrial cancers) metastasize to this location. Some patients showed signs of visceral metastasis. Bartholin gland metastases appeared as initial and metachronous manifestations. Most patients were symptomatic, with painful swelling or abscess. Genetic alterations were mentioned in some cases. The main pathways of metastasis discussed were lymphatic, but the mechanism of such metastasis remains unclear. Surgical resection was the preferred treatment option. The literature review indicated that Bartholin gland metastasis of ovarian cancer is rare and associated with poor prognosis. Oncological reasons for vulvar pathologies should be taken into consideration in patients with metastases.

Keywords: Bartholin gland; Metastasis; Ovarian cancer; Vulva.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Bartholin's Glands* / pathology
  • Bartholin's Glands* / surgery
  • Breast Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Female
  • Gynecology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / surgery