Original Report| Volume 34, ISSUE 4, P454-461, August 2021

Benign, Borderline, and Malignant Pediatric Adnexal Masses: A 10-Year Review

Published:January 13, 2021DOI:


      Study Objective

      To investigate the incidence, clinical features, tumor markers, radiologic findings, types of surgeries, and histologies for adnexal masses in female pediatric and adolescent patients.


      Retrospective chart review.


      Children's Health in Dallas and Plano, Texas from 2009 to 2018.


      Female patients younger than 19 years old who underwent surgical management of an adnexal mass.



      Main Outcome Measures

      Imaging characteristics, tumor markers, surgical procedures, and histopathology.


      In total, 752 patients (mean age, 13.7 years) underwent 756 surgical procedures for 781 adnexal masses. Of these, 732/781 (93.7%) were benign, 7/781 (0.9%) were borderline, and 42/781 (5.4%) were malignant. Of all 781 masses, 520/781 (66.6%) were ovarian and 261/781 (33.4%) were paratubal or tubal. Benign masses were associated with Hispanic race, pain, simple or cystic characteristics on imaging, and negative tumor markers. Borderline and malignant masses were associated with white race, pain, mass or distension, larger size, and heterogeneous appearance on imaging. Borderline masses were associated with negative tumor markers. Malignant masses were associated with elevated alpha fetoprotein, beta human chorionic gonadotropin, cancer antigen 125, and lactate dehydrogenase.


      Most adnexal masses in the pediatric and adolescent population are benign. Benign masses were significantly smaller, more likely to have negative tumor markers, and appear simple or cystic. There is little standardization with respect to preoperative tumor markers for adnexal masses. High-yield tumor markers for malignancy include alpha fetoprotein, beta human chorionic gonadotropin, cancer antigen 125, and lactate dehydrogenase. Low-yield tumor markers include inhibin A and B. Gynecologists performed more fertility-preserving surgeries including mini-laparotomies and fewer laparotomies for benign masses than pediatric surgeons.

      Key Words

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