What is struma ovarii?

Updated: Mar 08, 2019
  • Author: Lisa Rubinsak, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Struma ovarii is a rare ovarian tumor that was first described in 1899. It is defined by the presence of thyroid tissue comprising more than 50% of the overall mass. It most commonly occurs as part of a teratoma, but may occasionally be encountered with serous or mucinous cystadenomas. [1] Strumae ovarii comprise 1% of all ovarian tumors and 2-5% of ovarian teratomas.

Several variants of the tumor exist. Benign strumosis is a rare version where mature thyroid tissue implants are present throughout the peritoneal cavity. Strumal carcinoid is defined by the presence of carcinoid tissue within a struma ovarii. The vast majority of strumae ovarii are benign, but malignant disease is found in a small percentage of cases, the most common being papillary thyroid carcinoma.

The symptoms of struma ovarii are similar to those of other ovarian tumors and are nonspecific in nature. The tumor can be characterized by imaging, but the final diagnosis is made by pathological and histological examination. Surgical resection remains the definitive treatment for benign disease, and surgery with adjuvant radioiodine therapy has been shown to be successful in treating metastatic and recurrent disease. [2]

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