Accuracy of Frozen-Section Diagnosis of Ovarian Mucinous Tumors

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The objective of the study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of intraoperative frozen sections of ovarian mucinous tumors and to identify the features associated with an inaccurate diagnosis.


Cases of ovarian mucinous tumors (benign, low malignant potential [LMP] or borderline, primary malignant, and metastatic) diagnosed by frozen section or final histology were recruited. Frozen-section diagnoses were compared with the final histologic diagnoses. Possible variables associated with diagnostic discrepancy were analyzed.


A comparison of the diagnoses was done in 195 cases (102 benign, 61 LMP, 18 primary malignant, and 14 metastatic). Diagnostic agreement was observed in 164 cases (84.1%) and discrepancy in 31 cases (15.9%). The sensitivity of frozen-section diagnosis was low in LMP (67.2%) and malignant tumors (55.6%). The specificity was the lowest in the benign category (78.5%). The positive predictive values of all categories were less than 90% (range, 83.3%–85.7%). Diagnostic discrepancy was associated with tumor size of greater than 13 cm (P = 0.019) and the number of frozen sections of 4 or more (P = 0.035). However, in a multivariate analysis, there was no independent predictor of diagnostic discrepancy. The number of frozen sections 4 or more was strongly associated with tumor size of greater than 13 cm (P = 0.004).


The sensitivity of frozen-section diagnosis of LMP and malignant mucinous tumors was low. The inaccuracy of a frozen-section diagnosis of ovarian mucinous tumors may be related to a tumor size of greater than 13 cm. Increasing the number of intraoperative samples over 3 sections per case may not effectively increase the accuracy of frozen-section diagnosis in mucinous tumors.

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