Adnexal Masses in Pregnancy.
IMPORTANCE: Adnexal masses are identified in approximately 0.05% to 2.4% of pregnancies, and more recent data note a higher incidence due to widespread use of antenatal ultrasound. Whereas most adnexal masses are benign, approximately 1% to 6% are malignant. Proper diagnosis and management of adnexal masses in pregnancy are an important skill for obstetricians. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to review imaging modalities for evaluating adnexal masses in pregnancy and imaging characteristics that differentiate benign and malignant masses, examine various types of adnexal masses, and understand complications of and explore management options for adnexal masses in pregnancy. EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: This was a literature review using primarily PubMed and Google Scholar. RESULTS: Ultrasound can distinguish between simple-appearing benign ovarian cysts and masses with more complex features that can be associated with malignancy. Radiologic information can help guide physicians toward recommending conservative management with observation or surgical removal during pregnancy to facilitate diagnosis and treatment. The risks of expectant management of an adnexal mass during pregnancy include rupture, torsion, need for emergent surgery, labor obstruction, and progression of malignancy. Historically, surgical removal was performed more routinely to avoid such complications in pregnancy; however, increasing knowledge has directed management toward conservative measures for benign masses. Surgical removal of adnexal masses is increasingly performed via minimally invasive techniques including laparoscopy and robotic surgery due to a decreased risk of surgical complications compared with laparotomy. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Adnexal masses are increasingly identified in pregnancy because of the use of antenatal ultrasound. Clear and specific guidelines exist to help differentiate between benign and malignant masses. This is important for management as benign masses can usually be conservatively managed, whereas malignant masses require excision for diagnosis and treatment. A multidisciplinary approach, including referral to gynecologic oncology, should be used for masses with complex features associated with malignancy. Proper diagnosis and management of adnexal masses in pregnancy are an important skill for obstetricians.
Montes de Oca, MK; Dotters-Katz, SK; Kuller, JA; Previs, RA
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)