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Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 329-331

Adnexal mass with ascites and high cancer antigen -125 in a young female: Not always malignancy!

Department of Pediatric Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Date of Submission26-Sep-2019
Date of Decision30-Nov-2019
Date of Acceptance26-Jan-2020
Date of Web Publication1-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Enono Yhoshu
6th Floor A Block, Department of Pediatric Surgery, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Veerbhadra Road, Rishikesh - 249 203, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaps.JIAPS_172_19

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How to cite this article:
Chaudhary G, Yhoshu E, Ahmed I. Adnexal mass with ascites and high cancer antigen -125 in a young female: Not always malignancy!. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2020;25:329-31

How to cite this URL:
Chaudhary G, Yhoshu E, Ahmed I. Adnexal mass with ascites and high cancer antigen -125 in a young female: Not always malignancy!. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 31];25:329-31. Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2020/25/5/329/294003


The close similarities in presentation between abdominopelvic tuberculosis (TB) and ovarian carcinoma, with severe limitations of diagnostic tools, create a diagnostic dilemma to differentiate them. One of the contributive diagnostic tests in ovarian malignancy is cancer antigen (CA)-125, which is elevated in more than 90% of women with epithelial ovarian cancer in advanced stage and 50% in Stage 1. The sensitivity and specificity of CA-125 in ovarian cancer has been reported to be 64%–90% and 94%–98%, respectively.[1] CA-125 has a sensitivity and specificity of about 80%–90% and 95% for TB, respectively.[2]

A 12-year-old girl presented with complaints of loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, and distension for 4 weeks. Her built was poor (31 kg) and she had generalized abdominal distension with gross ascites. Ultrasound abdomen and contrast-enhanced computed tomography abdomen showed a multiloculated complex cyst 6 cm × 9 cm in the left adnexa with gross ascites [Figure 1]. Investigations revealed anemia (hemoglobin, 7.4 g/dl) and CA-125 of 862.1 U/ml (n < 35); lactate dehydrogenase, beta-human chorionic gonadotropin, alpha-fetoprotein, and CA19-9 were normal. Ascitic fluid analysis revealed few mesothelial cells with lymphocytes, coagulum present, and no malignant cells; GeneXpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis was negative. Acid-fast bacilli staining of ascitic fluid was negative. Chest X-ray was also normal. Mantoux test was negative. The patient received bacillus Calmette–Guerin vaccination in infancy. The screening of the family members for TB suggested negative results.
Figure 1: Contrast-enhanced computed tomography abdomen showing gross ascites

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She was referred to our institute for chemotherapy. Discussion was done in institutional tumor board meeting, and a consensus was reached to do a diagnostic laparoscopy with tissue and fluid biopsy. Diagnostic laparoscopy revealed 2.5 L of straw-colored ascites with multiple septations and tubercles in the peritoneal cavity [Figure 2]. The peritoneum was studded with tubercles. The left ovary had a firm mass of about 2 cm × 3 cm. Adhesiolysis with sampling of the ascitic fluid and biopsy of the tubercles and septations were done. Histopathology of tubercles revealed necrotizing granulomatous reaction suggestive of TB. Ascitic fluid adenosine deaminase was 150.6 IU/L (n < 24). The patient was started on antitubercular drugs and is doing well on follow-up of 6 months.
Figure 2: Diagnostic laparoscopy view showing multiple flimsy and dense adhesions, tubercles and ascites in peritoneal cavity

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A large number of literature has been reported about the misdiagnosis of abdominopelvic TB as ovarian cancer in adult age group due to their similarities in clinical presentation and investigations, including imagings and CA-125 levels. This misdiagnosis has led to certain pitfalls such as chemotherapy being given for months, radical surgery consisting of total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, omentum resection, and involved organ removal.[3] This has been a radical management, with probability of depriving females from being fertile. There is very few literature on abdominal TB misdiagnosed as ovarian cancer in pediatric age group.[4] Studies have suggested that diagnostic laparoscopy with histopathology can lead to a diagnosis of TB of the abdomen in more than 97% of patients.[5]

Due to lack of definitive diagnostic modalities to differentiate abdominopelvic TB and advanced ovarian malignancy in clinical presentation, in cases where there is raised CA-125 level in adolescent and reproductive age group, differential diagnosis of TB should always be prioritized, especially in endemic zones. Laparoscopy has a great role in diagnosis and definitive management.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Hartman CA, Juliato CR, Sarian LO, Toledo MC, Jales RM, Morais SS, et al. Ultrasound criteria and CA 125 as predictive variables of ovarian cancer in women with adnexal tumors. Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol 2012;40:360-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kumar A, Paswan SS, Kumar B, Raj P, Sunita. The diagnostics significance of serum cancer antigen-125 in abdominal tuberculosis. Int Surg J 2018;5:474-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
Arab M, Barmchi AA, Kazemi SN, Gharib A. Rare case of pelvic peritonitis misdiagnosed by ovarian malignancy, referred following chemotherapy. Rep Radiother Oncol 2015;2:E2992.  Back to cited text no. 3
Yebouet E, Olivier MM, Koui S, Bankole SR. Ovarian tuberculosis mimicking a malignant tumour. Afr J Paediatr Surg 2015;12:155-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Tinelli A, Malvasi A, Vergara D, Martignago R, Nicolardi G, Tinelli R, et al. Abdominopelvic tuberculosis in gynaecology: Laparoscopical and new laboratory findings. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 2008;48:90-5.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


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