Mucinous cystadenoma of the ovary is at the benign end of the spectrum of mucin-containing epithelial ovarian tumors.
The estimated peak incidence is at around 30-50 years of age.
They comprise approximately 80% of mucinous ovarian tumors and 20-25% of all benign ovarian tumors.
The tumors 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.
Mucinous cystadenomas tend to be larger than serous cystadenomas at presentation 1. Bilaterality is rare (2-5%). Mural calcification is more common than serous tumors 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 various degrees of echogenicity
Mucinous cystadenomas are usually seen as large multilocular cysts containing fluid of various viscosity. Due to this reason, the loculi of the tumors 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 tumors 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 tumors.
- 1. Jung SE, Lee JM, Rha SE et-al. CT and MR imaging of ovarian tumors with emphasis on differential diagnosis. Radiographics. 22 (6): 1305-25. doi:10.1148/rg.226025033 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Mullen CJ, Burd D, Reuter KL. Magnetic resonance imaging of an ovarian mucinous cystadenoma immediately before and after rupture. Br J Radiol. 1997;70 (834): 654-5. Br J Radiol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 3. Imaoka I, Wada A, Kaji Y et-al. Developing an MR imaging strategy for diagnosis of ovarian masses. Radiographics. 26 (5): 1431-48. doi:10.1148/rg.265045206 - Pubmed citation
- 4. Tanaka YO, Nishida M, Kurosaki Y et-al. Differential diagnosis of gynaecological "stained glass" tumours on MRI. Br J Radiol. 1999;72 (856): 414-20. Br J Radiol (abstract) - Pubmed citation
- 5. Crum CP (1999). The female genital tract. In Cotran RS, Kumar VK, and Collins T (Eds.), Robbins pathologic basis of disease (pp. 1035-1091). Philadelphia: Saunders
- 6. Okada S, Ohaki Y, Inoue K et-al. Calcifications in mucinous and serous cystic ovarian tumors. J Nippon Med Sch. 2005;72 (1): 29-33. Pubmed citation
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