Which clinical history findings are characteristic of granulosa cell tumors (GCTs) of the ovaries?

Updated: Aug 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Starks, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Warner K Huh, MD  more...
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Many patients with GCTs present with manifestations of hyperestrogenism. Approximately 70% of these tumors are hormonally active. Hormonal influences can cause different presenting symptoms depending on patient age and menstrual status. Although these symptoms can be quite profound, often they may be secondary findings in patients with complaints relating to the abdomen and pelvis.

Reports of increasing abdominal girth and abdominal discomfort are quite common. Most patients have a palpable mass found during examination. Abdominal symptoms may be due to enlargement of the mass but also can be due to the production of ascites, which occurs in approximately 10% of patients. Increasing size of the mass also can lead to symptoms associated with compression of adjacent structures, such as abdominal pain, dysuria, urinary frequency, and constipation.

Acute onset of abdominal pain also can occur, although rarely. Acute abdominal or pelvic pain may be observed in combination with nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shoulder pain. These symptoms may be due to adnexal torsion, rupture of a partially cystic GCT, or hemorrhage either within the tumor or into the peritoneum.

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