Retrospective cohort study of surgical staging for ovarian low malignant potential tumors

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The purpose of this study was to determine the benefit of surgically staging ovarian low malignant potential tumors.

Study design

This was a retrospective cohort study of all ovarian low malignant potential tumors that were diagnosed by frozen section or final pathologic review from 2003 to 2005.


Twenty-two of 32 patients (69%) were staged surgically. Sixteen low malignant potential tumors were stage I by final pathologic review, and 4 tumors were upstaged to stage II-III disease. Two other patients had early invasive ovarian carcinoma, despite a frozen section that suggested low malignant potential; 1 patient received adjuvant chemotherapy. The tumors of 10 women (31%) were unstaged. Frozen section suspicion of low malignant potential (P = .003) and surgery by a gynecologic oncologist (P < .001) correlated with staging. Preoperative CA-125, intraoperative blood loss, and postoperative hospitalization were increased in patients with staged disease (each P < .05). Two women who underwent fertility-sparing surgery experienced a recurrence in the contralateral ovary.


Surgical staging of ovarian low malignant potential tumors has limited value for most patients, unless invasive carcinoma is diagnosed by final pathologic review.

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