Gonadal germ cell tumors in children: A retrospective review of a 10-year single-center experience

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Background:The true incidence of gonadal germ cell tumors (GCTs) in children is unknown. Few studies have been published concerning about pediatric gonadal GCTs. The aim of this study is to review and analyze clinical data on the diagnosis and management of gonadal GCTs in children.Methods:Between 2005 and 2015, 127 pediatric patients (<14 years old) with gonadal GCTs admitted to our institute were reviewed. Clinical features, imaging and laboratory studies, surgical approaches, as well as pathological diagnoses were recorded.Results:The series comprised 53 males with testicular GCTs and 74 females with ovarian GCTs. Their median age was 5.8 years old. Palpable mass was the main clinical manifestation of testicular GCTs, while abdominal pain and abdominal distention were the most frequent presenting symptoms of ovarian GCTs. Both computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed a high diagnostic yield. AFP levels were elevated in most malignant GCTs, markedly elevated in yolk sac tumors. All patients were treated surgically. Mature teratoma was the most common type of benign GCTs, while yolk sac tumor was the most common type of malignant GCTs.Conclusion:Gonadal GCTs in children have various of pathological types, as well as clinical manifestations. Imaging and laboratory data could be useful for differentiation of malignant from benign tumors. Final diagnosis depends on pathology. Surgical excision of the gonadal GCTs is the prior option.

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