Calcifications in mucinous and serous cystic ovarian tumors

Susumu Okada, Yoshiharu Ohaki, Kohei Inoue, Takashi Kawamura, Toshihiko Hayashi, Tomoyasu Kato, Tatsuo Kumazaki
Journal of Nippon Medical School 2005, 72 (1): 29-33
Mucinous cystic ovarian tumors sometimes contain calcifications, but the frequency and significance of such calcifications in diagnostic radiology are not well understood. We therefore retrospectively investigated the radiological and histopathological evidence of calcifications in 44 cases of ovarian mucinous cystic tumors (22 benign, 13 borderline, and 9 malignant) and 21 cases of ovarian serous cystic tumors (6 benign and 15 malignant) in which a non-contrast CT scan was performed. The shape and distribution of the calcifications in the mass lesion were assessed both radiologically and histopathologically. Calcifications were noted in 34.1% of mucinous cystic tumors on CT scans and 56.8% in histopathological studies, and they were found in two locations, intramural and intra-cystic, according to the histopathological findings. Intramural calcifications were frequent in benign tumors, and intra-cystic calcifications were frequent in proliferating tumors. Calcifications (psammoma bodies) were noted in 4.7% of serous cystic tumors on CT scans and 14.3% in histopathological studies. CT was not sufficiently sensitive in the detection of intra-cystic calcification in mucinous tumors and psammoma bodies in serous tumors. However, the presence of intramural calcifications may be a good indicator of mucinous tumors. Understanding the frequency and morphology of the calcifications in these neoplasms is one of the keys to making a correct diagnosis.

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