Surgical management of a suspicious adnexal mass: A systematic review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the existing literature in order to determine the optimal recommended protocols for the surgical management of adnexal masses suspicious for apparent early stage malignancy. METHODS: A review of all systematic reviews and guidelines published between 1999 and 2009 was conducted as a first step. After the identification of two systematic reviews on the topic, searches of MEDLINE for studies published since 2004 were also conducted to update and supplement the evidentiary base. RESULTS: The updated literature search identified 31 studies that met the inclusion criteria. A bivariate random effects analysis of 15 frozen section diagnosis studies yielded an overall sensitivity of 89.2% (95% CI, 86.3 to 91.5%) and specificity of 97.9% (95% CI, 96.6 to 98.7%). The surgical evidence suggests that systematic lymphadenectomy and proper surgical staging improve survival. Conservative fertility-preserving surgical approaches are an acceptable option in women with low malignant potential tumours. The accuracy and the adequacy of surgical staging by laparotomy or laparoscopic approaches appear to be comparable, with neither approach conferring a survival advantage. Intraoperative tumour rupture was indeed reported to occur more frequently in patients undergoing laparoscopy versus laparotomy in two retrospective cohort studies. CONCLUSIONS: The best available evidence was collected and included in this rigorous systematic review. The abundant evidentiary base provided the context and direction for the surgical management of adnexal masses suspicious for apparent early stage malignancy.


  • Covens, Allan L
  • Dodge, Jason E
  • Lacchetti, Christina
  • Elit, Laurie
  • Le, Tien
  • Devries-Aboud, Michaela
  • Fung-Kee-Fung, Michael

publication date

  • July 2012