Decidualization of ovarian endometriosis during pregnancy mimicking malignancy

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Bnai-Zion Medical Center, PO Box 4940, Haifa 31048, Israel.
Journal of ultrasound in medicine: official journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.54). 10/2005; 24(9):1289-94. DOI: 10.1016/j.jgyn.2013.07.004
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this series is to present deciduosis (the formation of extrauterine decidua) as one of the differential diagnoses of a malignant tumor during pregnancy.
Two cases are described in which pregnant patients had a pelvic tumor. The lesions, which were diagnosed in the early second trimester, consisted of complex masses with an extensive blood supply and had a sonographic appearance of a malignant tumor. The high suspicion for malignancy necessitated surgical intervention.
During surgery, the lesions were observed to be of an ovarian origin with papillary excrescences covering their exterior. The lesions were excised and sent for histologic examination. The results showed a markedly decidualized endometriotic cyst in both cases.
This phenomenon is a diagnostic challenge and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a malignant mass during pregnancy.

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    • "Fast-growing sonolucent cystic structures with increased blood flow and with intraluminal papillary vegetations are the typical indicators of the malignancies and are also the changes that occur due to decidualized endometrioma [5]. Decidualization is the hypertrophy of the endometrial stroma cells and the development of the decidua formed in response to progesterone to optimally adapt the endometrium for pregnancy [6]. During pregnancy, decidualization can occur outside the uterus, especially in ovarian endometriomas. "
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    ABSTRACT: During pregnancy, masses that are larger than 5 cm and appearing in the Doppler ultrasonography as having increased blood flow, echoes of heterogeneous density, and containing solid components are suspicious for malignancy; however, differential diagnosis of decidualized endometriomas should also be considered. The patient was an 8 weeks pregnant primigravida. The ultrasonographic evaluation showed a cystic mass of size 65 × 57 mm in the left ovary that was well circumscribed, heterogeneous, with highly dense internal echo, and containing a solid component of size 8 × 14 mm. In the 12th week, the ultrasonographic examination revealed an increase in the size of the mass and increased arterial blood flow in the mass. The patient underwent surgery. It was observed that both ovaries were adherent in the Douglas pouch and that the left ovary contained an endometrioma of size 8cm. While the capsule was being peeled, lesions of soft density, with irregular surfaces, and with adhesion in the Douglas pouch were observed. The results of the frozen section revealed decidualized endometrioma and decidual structures. Even in pregnant women when adnexal masses are encountered and the ultrasonography, Doppler, MRI, and CA 125 level analysis still do not favor endometriosis, decidualized endometrioma should be considered in the differential diagnosis.
    04/2013; 2013:728291. DOI:10.1155/2013/728291
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    • "The formation of the ectopic decidua in ovarian endometrioma is a well documented phenomenon. Deciduosis is usually an asymptomatic phenomenon and continues undetected throughout pregnancy [20]. The ectopic endometrium preserves the ability to undergo reversible decidualization, which is a phenomenon typifying normal eutopic endometrium. "
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    ABSTRACT: The coexistence of endometrial and immune cells during decidualization is preserved by the ability of endometrial cells to regulate the cytotoxic immune activity and their capability to be resistant to immune-mediated apoptosis. These phenomena enable the survival of endometrial ectopic cells. RCAS1 is responsible for regulation of cytotoxic activity. Metallothionein expression seems to protect endometrial cells against apoptosis. The aim of the present study was to evaluate RCAS1 and metallothionein expression in human ovarian and scar endometriomas in relation to the presence of immune cells and their activity. Metallothionein, RCAS1, CD25, CD69, CD56, CD16, CD68 antigen expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in ovarian and scar endometriomas tissue samples which were obtained from 33 patients. The secretory endometrium was used as a control group (15 patients). The lowest metallothionein expression was revealed in ovarian endometriomas in comparison to scar endometriomas and to the control group. RCAS1 expression was at the highest level in the secretory endometrium and it was at comparable levels in ovarian and scar endometriomas. Similarly, the number of CD56-positive cells was lower in scar and ovarian endometriomas than in the secretory endometrium. The highest number of macrophages was found in ovarian endometriomas. RCAS1-positive macrophages were observed only in ovarian endometriomas. CD25 and CD69 antigen expression was higher in scar and ovarian endometriomas than in the control group. The expression of RCAS1 and metallothionein by endometrial cells may favor the persistence of these cells in ectopic localization both in scar following cesarean section and in ovarian endometriosis.
    Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 02/2006; 4(1):41. DOI:10.1186/1477-7827-4-41 · 2.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The participation of immune tolerance during pregnancy was suggested to be an important factor predisposing to the implantation of decidual cells after cesarean section in Pfannenstiel scar. Delivery at term is related to the termination of immune tolerance to fetal antigens that is maintained throughout pregnancy. Substantial proportion of cesarean section deliveries is performed before the onset of true term labor. The aim of this study was to analyze the clinical symptoms of spontaneous beginning of labor in pregnant women in whom cesarean sections were performed and in whom Pfannenstiel scar endometriomas were observed during follow-up. We have retrospectively analyzed 81 patients following the surgical removal of scar endometrioma after cesarean section. Obstetrical histories of cesarean sections in the number of 5,370 preceding the occurrence of the scar endometrioma were analyzed. These data were collected in six different Gynecological and Obstetrical wards in Malopolska Province in Poland. Analysis of data was started by the retrospective evaluation of regular uterine contractions, uterine cervix ripening before cesarean section and the indications for surgery. In 67 women from the group of 81 patients cesarean sections were performed with unripe uterine cervix and without the presence of regular uterine contractions. Elective indications for cesarean sections were predominant in this group of women. The relative risk of scar endometriomas occurrence following cesarean sections performed before onset of labor in comparison to cesarean sections following spontaneous onset of labor was statistically significantly higher [RR = 2.16, 95% CI = 1.21-3.83; OR = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.22-3.89]. Cesarean section performed before spontaneous onset of labor may increase substantially the risk of occurrence of scar endometriomas.
    Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation 02/2007; 63(2):107-13. DOI:10.1159/000096083 · 1.70 Impact Factor
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