Ovarian mucinous cystadenoma

Mucinous cystadenoma of the ovary is at the benign end of the spectrum of mucin-containing epithelial ovarian tumours.


The estimated peak incidence is at around 30-50 years of age. 

They comprise approximately 80% of mucinous ovarian tumours and 20-25% of all benign ovarian tumours.


The tumours are lined by columnar epithelium, typically similar to endocervical epithelium, though occasionally an intestinal type may be seen. These cells secrete thick, gelatinous mucin which fills the locules 5

Radiographic features

Mucinous cystadenomas generally tend to be larger than serous cystadenomas at presentation 1. Bilaterality is rare (2-5%). Mural calcification is more common than serous tumours 6

  • typically large cystic adnexal mass
  • multilocular with numerous thin septations
  • loculations may contain low-level internal echogenicity due to increased mucin content
    • different locules may contain different degrees of echogenicity
Pelvic MRI

Mucinous cystadenomas are seen usually as large multilocular cysts containing fluid of various viscosity. Due to this reason, the loculi of the tumours often show variable signal intensities on both T1 and T2 sequences. This can sometimes give a “stained glass” appearance. They rarely appear as unilocular cysts.

Treatment and prognosis

A mucinous cystadenoma is benign with excellent prognosis (c.f. borderline mucinous tumours of the ovary or mucinous cystadenocarcinoma of the ovary). Nonetheless, they are frequently surgically excised for histological confirmation of benignity, and due to mass effect of the large tumours.

See also

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Article Information

rID: 13390
System: Gynaecology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Mucinous cystadenoma of the ovary
  • Mucinous cystadenoma of ovary
  • Ovarian mucinous cystadenomas
  • Mucinous cystadenomas of the ovary
  • Mucinous cystadenomas of ovary
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    Figure 1: gross pathology
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