The preoperative diagnosis of borderline ovarian tumors: A review of current literature

Matteo Morotti, Mario Valenzano Menada, David John Gillott, Pier Luigi Venturini, Simone Ferrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To evaluate the available information on the preoperative diagnosis of borderline ovarian tumors (BOTs). Methods Articles were identified through electronic databases (Medline and EMBASE, MEDLINE, PubMed), no date or language restrictions were placed; relevant citations were hand searched. Results Women with BOTs are more likely to have no symptom than women with invasive ovarian cancers; however, the type of symptoms is similar in patients with BOTs and invasive ovarian cancers. Up to 61% of women with BOTs have elevated CA-125; CA 19.9 and endoglin are not useful for diagnosing BOTs. Further studies are required to determine whether the measurements of calprotectin, oviductal glycoprotein 1 and growth differentiation factor-15 are useful for diagnosing BOTs. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are the mainstay for the diagnosis of BOTs. Combining MRI and positron emission tomography may facilitate the identification of BOTs. Conclusion After completion of this article, the reader should be aware of the symptoms of BOTs, the potential role and pitfalls of tumor marker measurement. In addition, the reader will understand the appearance of BOTs at imaging techniques; the reader will be able to compare and combine ultrasonography, MRI and positron emission tomography in diagnosing BOTs. In clinical practice, the reader should be better able to assess whether an ovarian mass is a benign tumor, a BOT or an invasive cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1112
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Borderline ovarian tumors
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Preoperative
  • Serum tumor markers
  • Sonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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