Ovarian Cysts: A Review

Cheryl Horlen, PharmD, BCPS


US Pharmacist. 2010;35(7):1-4. 

In This Article


It is difficult to distinguish a functional ovarian cyst from an ovarian neoplasm based on signs and symptoms alone. Transvaginal and transabdominal ultrasonography are useful for determining the location, size, and physical features of the cyst, as well as findings suggestive of malignancy. Measurement of CA-125 levels can be helpful for distinguishing between benign and malignant adnexal masses, especially in postmenopausal women. Although ovarian malignancy is less likely in women of reproductive age, any suspicion arising from patient history, signs and symptoms, imaging findings, or serologic testing should be further investigated.[8] In many cases, a definitive diagnosis of cyst type and status as malignant or benign cannot be made without surgical excision and histologic examination.[5]


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