Endometrioid carcinomas of the ovary are a sub-type of an ovarian tumour of epithelial origin. The vast majority are malignant and invasive.
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Endometrioid carcinomas account for 8-15% of all ovarian carcinomas. It is considered the second commonest malignant ovarian neoplasm 8.
The typical gross appearance of these tumours is similar to that of other epithelial lesions, with variable cystic and solid components. Occasionally, it may be completely solid.
Histologically, an endometrioid carcinoma is characterised by the appearance of tubular glands, and bears a strong resemblance to the endometrium. Gross morphological appearance is that of a mass with both solid and cystic areas 2. Squamous differentiation can be present in more than a third of patients 8.
A benign endometrioid carcinoma is relatively uncommon and when it is benign it tends to be an ovarian cystadenofibroma 3.
- synchronous endometrial carcinoma or endometrial hyperplasia may be present in up to a third of cases
- the endometrial abnormality is thought to represent an independent, primary lesion rather than metastatic disease
- endometrioid carcinoma is the most common malignant neoplasm arising within an endometrioma, although overall this is an uncommon occurrence
Location - laterality
Bilateral involvement can be seen in 25-40% of cases 1-2,8.
Imaging ﬁndings are often non-speciﬁc and include a large, complex cystic mass with solid components.
Reported signal characteristics include
- relatively low signal intensity of the tumour wall
- a shading sign may be seen 3
- T1 C + (Gd): can show mild enhancement 3
Treatment and prognosis
An endometriod histology may carry a slightly better prognosis than a serous or mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the ovary (not a serous tumour in general) independent of stage 5,8. Pure endometrioid tumours carry a far better outcome than a mixed variety.
Metastases to the ovary with colon cancer could be considered especially if the ovarian lesion is bilateral or if there is a known colonic mass, especially due to strong histological similarity. Differentiation from metastatic endometrial cancer can also sometimes can be difficult.
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- 4. Tanaka YO, Yoshizako T, Nishida M et-al. Ovarian carcinoma in patients with endometriosis: MR imaging findings. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2000;175 (5): 1423-30. AJR Am J Roentgenol (full text) - Pubmed citation
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- 7. De breuck Y, Ramboer K, Ghekiere J et-al. Endometrioid cystadenocarcinoma of the ovary. J Belge Radiol. 1996;79 (4): 165-6. - Pubmed citation
- 8. Wagner BJ, Buck JL, Seidman JD et-al. From the archives of the AFIP. Ovarian epithelial neoplasms: radiologic-pathologic correlation. Radiographics. 1994;14 (6): 1351-74. Radiographics (abstract) - Pubmed citation