Surgical Science, 2011, 2, 499-501
doi:10.4236/ss.2011.210110 Published Online December 2011 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/ss)
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. SS
Elevation of Serum CA-125 in Mucinous Cystadenoma of
the Ovary with Torsion: A Rare Occurrence and Review of
Tadao Okada1, Shohei Honda1, Hisayuki Miyagi1, Masashi Minato1,
Kanako C. Kubota2, Akinobu Taketomi3
1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Hokkaido University Hospital, Sapporo, Japan
2Department of Surgical Pathology, Hokkaido University Hospital, Sapporo, Japan
3Department of Gastroenterological Surgery I, Hokkaido University
Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan
Received May 23, 2011; revised August 14, 2011; accepted October 17, 2011
Aim: Benign neoplasms of the ovary originating from epithelial tissue are common tumors in adult women.
They are, however, rarely seen in children or adolescent girls with elevation of serum carbohydrate antigen-
125 (CA-125). The present report describes a rare case of premenarchal women with a giant mucinous cys-
tadenoma (MCA) of the ovary with torsion complicated with elevation of serum CA-125. Case: A 15-year-
old, premenarchal, previously healthy girl was referred to our hospital with a 2-week history of left lower
abdominal pain. Physical examinations showed a firm and mobile mass with tenderness in the left lower
quadrant. Tumor markers showed CA-125 at 124.1 U/ml. An enhanced computed tomography scan showed a
multiloculated tumor that was partly solid, compressing the small intestine, uterus, and urinary bladder, but
no signs of organ invasion, lymph node swelling, or ascitis. Via a lower transverse incision, the right Fallo-
pian tube was observed to have twisted 1620˚ counterclockwise, and a tense cyst measuring 22.0 × 12.0 ×
10.5 cm and weighing 1.78 kg was found in the right ovary. Release from torsion and unilateral salpingo-
oophorectomy with tumor removal was performed because blood flow to the right Fallopian tube did not im-
prove after torsion release. The histopathological findings showed an MCA of the ovary without cell dyspla-
sia. The patient did not receive adjuvant chemotherapy following surgery. There was no evidence of recur-
rence at 2 years. Disucussion: We need to consider MCA of the ovary when there is elevation of the serum
CA-125 and an ovarian mass.
Keywords: CA-125, Mucinous Cystadenoma of the Ovary, Salpingo-Oophorectomy, Torsion
Benign neoplasms of the ovary originating from epithet-
lial tissue are common tumors in adult women. They are,
however, rarely seen in children or adolescent girls. Mu-
cinous tumors of the ovary occur principally in middle
adult life and are rare prior to menarche . Such tumors
can be classified as adenoma, borderline malignancy, and
adenocarcinoma according to cytological and structural
atypia . Mucinous cystadenoma (MCA) appears as a
large cystic mass and is often multiloculated and con-
tains sticky gelatinous fluid. T. Sri Paran et al. described
only 13 previous cases of benign MCA of the ovary in
perimenarchal girls reported in the literature in 2006 .
Especially, giant MCA of the ovary with torsion compli-
cated with elevation of serum cancer antigen-125 (CA-
125) is extremely rare in pediatrics.
The present report describes the very rare case of a 15-
year-old girl with giant MCA of the ovary with torsion
complicated with the elevation of serum CA-125, and
successful surgical treatment. We review the literature on
this type of relationship between MCA of the ovary with
torsion and the elevation of serum CA125, and discuss
the clinical features of this complication. Furthermore,
the possible cause of torsion in MCA of the ovary in pre-
menarchal women was explored in this report.
T. OKADA ET AL.
2. Case Report
A 15-year-old, premenarchal, previously healthy girl was
referred to our hospital with a 2-week history of left lower
abdominal pain. Physical examinations showed a firm
and mobile mass with tenderness in the left lower quad-
rant. Tumor markers showed α-fetoprotein at 2.3 ng/ml,
β-hCG < 0. 5 ng/ml, and CA-125 at 124.1 U/ml (normal:
2.4 - 36.3).
An enhanced computed tomography (CT) scan showed
a multiloculated tumor that was partly solid, compressing
the small intestine, uterus, and urinary bladder, but no
signs of organ invasion, lymph node swelling, or ascitis
(Figure 1). On the basis of these findings and physical
signs, an ovarian tumor with torsion was suspected, and
emergent surgical intervention was scheduled.
Via a lower transverse incision, the right Fallopian
tube was observed to have twisted 1620˚ counterclock-
wise, and a tense cyst measuring 22.0 × 12.0 × 10.5 cm
and weighing 1.78 kg was found in the right ovary (Fig-
ure 2). The left ovary was normal. Release from torsion
and unilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with tumor re-
moval was performed because blood flow to the right
Fallopian tube did not improve after torsion release.
Most of the tumor was necrotic, and congestive. A viable
part of the tumor, histologically, multilocular cystic neo-
plasm was lined by a single layer of columnar mucinous
cells with small basilar nuclei. There were no signs of
epithelial atypia or intraepithelial carcinoma in the epi-
thelium lining the cyst surface. The histopathological
findings showed an MCA of the ovary without cell dys-
plasia. The patient did not receive adjuvant chemother-
apy following surgery. There was no evidence of recur-
rence at 2 years.
The incidence of combined benign and malignant ovar-
ian tumors has been estimated to be around 2.6 cases per
100,000 in girls younger than 15 years of age . They
Figure 1. (a) Enhanced CT scan showed a multiloculated tumor that was partly solid; (b) The tumor compressed the small
intestine, uterus (arrow), and urinary bladder (arrowhead), but no signs of organ invasion, lymph node swelling, or ascitis.
Figure 2. Intraoperative and transectional macroscopic findings. Via a lower transverse incision, the right Fallopian tube was
observed to have twisted 1620˚ counterclockwise, and a tense cyst measuring 22.0 × 12.0 × 10.5 cm and weighing 1.78 kg was
found in the right ovary; (b) Most of the tumor was necrotic and a part was solid.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. SS
T. OKADA ET AL.
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. SS
represent less than 2% of all tumors in girls below 16
years of age. Less than 20% of ovarian malignancies re-
portedly arise from ovarian surface epithelial cells .
Epithelial tumors of the ovary are rare prior to puberty
The differential diagnosis of ovarian masses in ado-
lescents includes cyst formation, torsion with consecu-
tive edema, benign or malignant ovarian neoplasm, and
involvement of the ovary in lymphoma, leukemia, or me-
tastatic disease . Deprest et al. reviewed 1700 reported
cases of ovarian neoplasms in females under 20 years of
age, and reported epithelial tumors in 17%, of which
26% were malignant . Ovarian MCA is an epithelial
tumor, it is usually unilateral, and only 10% of cases, are
malignant . They occur principally in middle adult life
and are exceptional in children and adolescents, such as
the present case .
CA-125 is a glycoprotein that is produced by certain
tumors, such as malignant epithelial ovarian tumors. In
premenopausal patients, benign findings such as leiomy-
omas, endometriosis, menstruation, and pregnancy may
elevate CA-125. Paran et al. reported that CA-125 was
within the normal range in 6 perimenarchal girls with
ovarain MCA . Especially, MCA of the ovary with
torsion complicated with the elevation of serum CA-125
is an extremely rare occurrence in pediatrics.
K-ras mutations are common in mucinous ovarian tu-
mors, are probably an early event in mucinous ovarian
tumors, and are probably an early event in mucinous
ovarian carcinogenesis . Interestingly, some microdi-
ssected mucinous tumors had the same K-ras mutation in
histologically benign, borderline, and malignant areas of
the same tumor . Unfortunately, we did not examine
In young patients with apparently benign ovarian cysts
requiring removal, the conservative approach of ovarian
cystectomy is advocated to enable the retention of func-
tioning ovarian tissue for endogenous hormone produc-
tion and future conception . However, when a huge
cyst is encountered such as in our case, preserving the
ovarian tissue might be difficult. In the present case, it
was not possible to determine the origin of the mass be-
fore laparotomy, and there were no findings ruling out
malignancy because of the solid component of the tumor
and the elevation of serum CA-125. Therefore, the treat-
ment of choice was complete resection rather than biopsy.
Conservative surgery (i.e., unilateral salpingo-oophore-
ctomy) is generally sufficient for benign lesions and
early-stage ovarian tumors of borderline malignancy .
Torsion of MCA such as that reported here is rarely
seen in children or adolescent girls. Ovarian tumors that
undergo torsion can mimic acute appendicitis and may
lead to emergency surgery .
In conclusion, we need to consider MCA in adolescent
girls with the elevation of serum CA-125 and the pres-
ence of a very large ovarian mass.
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