Ovarian cysts: A clinical dilemma

V. Tanos, J. G. Schenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid development of ultrasound technology and its routine application during gynecological examinations has led to the more frequent detection of ovarian cysts. Such cysts can be diagnosed at any age or stage of A woman's life, and detected as early AS the fetal stage or AS late AS the postmenopause. Ovarian cysts in female fetuses are usually detected during screening in pregnancy and followed after delivery AS neonates. A few months are usually sufficient for spontaneous regression, although symptomatic cysts should be promptly operated. Infertile women, most cases present benign functional cysts which disappear after. menstruation or can be managed easily with the combined oral contraceptive pill. When pregnancy is complicated with an adnexal mass, the second trimester is the preferable time of action in cases when operation is demanded, Transvaginal sonography plays An important role, not only in the detection of ovarian cysts but also in the diagnosis of malignancy. Large cysts, multiloculi, septa, papillae and increased blood flow are all suspected signs of neoplasia. The incidence of ovarian cancer increases with age and is predominantly A disease Of peri-and postmenopausal women with an average patient age of 50-59 years. Vaginal sonography has been established as the examination of choice in screening and follow-up of patients, with complementary color Doppler studies and determination of serial serum levels of CA-125. If a malignant cyst is suspected, at any age, explorative laparotomy should be performed promptly. Sonography or computerized tomographic scanner aspiration procedures, CIS well AS laparoscopic surgery, should be reserved for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes in low-risk cancer patients. Early detection of ovarian cysts might enable the identification of high-risk patients for ovarian malignancy, but prediction or detection Of ovarian cancer at a premalignant stage is unlikely. If ovarian cancer is a genetic disease, the identification of the responsible gene might be applied as routinely as the Pap smear, and this would change our clinical approach to the management of ovarian cysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1994


  • CA-125
  • Lapakoscopic Surgery
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Ovarian Cyst Treatment
  • Ovarian Cysts

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