Submit Your Article CMED MEACR meeting
Home Print this page Email this page Users Online: 384
Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 

 Table of Contents  
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 80-82

Primary ovarian carcinoid in mature cystic teratoma: A rare entity

Department of Pathology, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication27-Jan-2014

Correspondence Address:
Reetika Sharma
Department of Pathology, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0513.125803

Rights and Permissions

Primary ovarian carcinoids are rare, accounting for 0.3% of all carcinoid tumors; however, carcinoid tumors metastatic to the ovary are common. A majority of primary ovarian carcinoids occur in association with mature cystic teratoma. In this paper, we present a case of carcinoid tumor developing in a mature cystic teratoma in a 50-year-old female.

Keywords: Carcinoid, ovary, teratoma

How to cite this article:
Sharma R, Biswas B, Wahal SP, Sharma N, Kaushal V. Primary ovarian carcinoid in mature cystic teratoma: A rare entity. Clin Cancer Investig J 2014;3:80-2

How to cite this URL:
Sharma R, Biswas B, Wahal SP, Sharma N, Kaushal V. Primary ovarian carcinoid in mature cystic teratoma: A rare entity. Clin Cancer Investig J [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Apr 8];3:80-2. Available from:

  Introduction Top

Carcinoid tumors arising from the reproductive organs, such as primary ovarian carcinoids, are rare and sparsely documented. Stewart et al.[1] reported the first case of carcinoid tumor arising in an ovarian teratoma in 1939. Mature cystic teratomas (dermoid cyst) make up almost 20% of all ovarian neoplasms. Although they are almost always benign tumors, the rare development of cancer deserves emphasis. [2] The most common malignant change in a dermoid cyst is squamous cell carcinoma, followed by adenocarcinoma and carcinoid tumor. [3] Primary ovarian carcinoid tumors are uncommon and the majority of them are associated with mature cystic teratomas. [3] Robboy et al.[4] divided these tumors into three types: The insular type, trabecular type, and strumal carcinoid type. We report herein a case of trabecular carcinoid tumor arising from a mature cystic teratoma, which was examined by histological and immunohistochemical methods.

  Case Report Top

A 50-year-old woman presented with lower abdominal pain for 1 month. The ultrasonography revealed a heterogeneous mass measuring 7.5 cm × 3.7 cm × 2.4 cm containing echogenic reflectors. CA-125 was within normal limits. The vaginal examination revealed first degree cervical descent, a retroverted uterus and a left adnexal mass. A clinical diagnosis of mature cystic teratoma was kept and hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy was performed. Grossly the uterus, cervix and right sided ovary were unremarkable. The left sided ovary was converted into a mass measuring 8 cm × 4 cm × 3 cm. The outer surface was smooth gray-white with distended blood vessels. Cut surface revealed solid-cystic areas. The cystic area was filled with pultaceous material along with tuft of hair. The solid area was homogeneous, tan-brown to yellow in color. Microscopic examination revealed a cyst lined by stratified squamous epithelium with skin appendages [Figure 1]. The sub-epithelial zone showed keratin debris surrounded by giant cell reaction to keratin, smooth muscle cells, blood vessels, and chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate. The sections from the solid part revealed tumor cells arranged in acini, tubules, ribbons, cords and trabeculae. The tumor cells had round to oval nuclei with stippled chromatin and granular eosinophilic cytoplasm [Figure 2]. No mitotic figures were identified. On the basis of nuclear features, a neuroendocrine tumor was suggested. Immunohistochemistry was carried out with chromogranin A which showed cytoplasmic positivity. A diagnosis of mature cystic teratoma with primary carcinoid ovary (trabecular type) was given. The patient is kept on radiological surveillance of abdomen and pelvis at 3 month interval.
Figure 1: Ovarian carcinoid lined by stratified squamous epithelium component of mature teratoma (H and E, ×10)

Click here to view
Figure 2: Tumor cells are arranged in acini and trabeculae having round to oval nuclei, stippled chromatin and abundant granular eosinophilic cytoplasm (H and E, ×40)

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

Mature cystic teratomas constitute 15-20% of all ovarian tumors. [2] Although dermoid cysts of the ovary are almost always benign tumors, primary malignancy developing in these cysts rarely encountered about 1.5%, despite the presence of embryonic structures in these neoplasms. [2] The most common malignant change in mature cystic teratoma is squamous cell carcinoma. [3] Carcinoid tumors constitute only 0.3% of all ovarian neoplasms; thus they may remain undiagnosed until the time of surgery. [4],[5] Carcinoid tumor can be seen in the ovary as a metastasis of a primary tumor located in gastrointestinal tract or elsewhere, [6] as a component of mature cystic teratoma or as a primary pure neoplasm of this organ. Carcinoids typically arise in the intestine, with the appendix most frequently involved or more rarely from the thymus, bronchus, stomach, or pancreas. The large majority of primary ovarian carcinoids are unilateral, but in 16% of cases the contralateral ovary is involved by a cystic teratoma or a mucinous neoplasm. [4] In contrast, most metastatic carcinoid tumors to the ovary are associated with peritoneal metastasis. The prognosis in primary carcinoid (whether pure or a component of mature cystic teratoma) is very good, whereas metastatic carcinoids have poor outcome.

Carcinoid tumors secrete a wide variety of neurohumoral substances such as serotonin, histamine, tachykinin, bradykinin, kallikrein, corticotrophin, substance P, motilin, and prostaglandins. [7] Persistent systemic exposure to large quantities of these hormones and biogenic amines can result in carcinoid syndrome, the classical triad of flushing of upper extremities and face, wheezing, and diarrhea. Normally, systemic exposure does not occur with an intestinal carcinoid until it has metastasized, because of efficient hepatic metabolism of secreted substances. However, primary ovarian carcinoids can cause these symptoms directly, because their venous drainage bypasses the portal venous system. [4] In our case, the patient did not present with any features of carcinoid syndrome. Microscopically, the appearance is similar to that of carcinoid tumor elsewhere, in that they recapitulate the various patterns of this well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumor as seen in various sites. Thus, there are tumors with an insular pattern of growth similar to those seen in the appendix and small bowel, tumors with a trabecular appearance similar to that seen in the rectum, and tumors with mucinous/goblet cell appearance similar to those seen primarily in the appendix. [8] The similarities also apply to their histochemical features (argentaffinity or argyrophilia depending on the type), and to the consistent presence of neurosecretory granules at electron microscopic level. [9] Chromogranin A, neuron specific enolase, 5-HT and variety of peptide hormones like peptide YY have been demonstrated immunohistochemically, particularly in tumors of trabecular type. [10] It is not possible to separate primary from metastatic carcinoid tumors on morphologic grounds; however, if the ovarian carcinoid is admixed with areas of teratoma, the chances are overwhelming that it is of primary origin. Excision of primary carcinoid of insular or trabecular type is usually curative. The behavior of mucinous type is more aggressive as in appendix. [8]

This case adds to the rare reports in the literature of a carcinoid occurring in a mature cystic teratoma. It also signifies the importance of extensive sampling of the solid parts of a dermoid cyst to increase the data about primary ovarian carcinoids arising in a mature cystic teratoma.

  References Top

1.Stewart MJ, Willes RA, Saran GS. Argentaffin carcinoma (carcinoid tumor) arising in ovarian teratoma: A case report of two cases- J Pathol Bacteriol 1939:49:207-12.  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Fukuda T, Ohnishi Y, Terashima T, Iwafuchi M, Itoh S. Peptide tyrosine tyrosine-positive ovarian carcinoid tumor arising from a dermoid cyst. Acta Pathol Jpn 1991;41:394-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Hirakawa T, Tsuneyoshi M, Enjoji M. Squamous cell carcinoma arising in mature cystic teratoma of the ovary. Clinicopathologic and topographic analysis. Am J Surg Pathol 1989;13:397-405.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Robboy SJ, Norris HJ, Scully RE. Insular carcinoid primary in the ovary. A clinicopathologic analysis of 48 cases. Cancer 1975;36:404-18.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Modlin IM, Shapiro MD, Kidd M. An analysis of rare carcinoid tumors: Clarifying these clinical conundrums. World J Surg 2005;29:92-101.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Robboy SJ, Scully RE, Norris HJ. Carcinoid metastatic to the ovary. A clinocopathologic analysis of 35 cases. Cancer 1974;33:798-811.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Sporrong B, Falkmer S, Robboy SJ, Alumets J, Håkanson R, Ljungberg O, et al. Neurohormonal peptides in ovarian carcinoids: An immunohistochemical study of 81 primary carcinoids and of intraovarian metastases from six mid-gut carcinoids. Cancer 1982;49:68-74.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Baker PM, Oliva E, Young RH, Talerman A, Scully RE. Ovarian mucinous carcinoids including some with a carcinomatous component: A report of 17 cases. Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:557-68.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Serratoni FT, Robboy SJ. Ultrastructure of primary and metastatic ovarian carcinoids: Analysis of 11 cases. Cancer 1975;36:157-60.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Motoyama T, Katayama Y, Watanabe H, Okazaki E, Shibuya H. Functioning ovarian carcinoids induce severe constipation. Cancer 1992;70:513-8.  Back to cited text no. 10


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Carcinoid Heart Disease: Review of Current Knowledge
Pradhum Ram,Jorge L. Penalver,Kevin Bryan U. Lo,Janani Rangaswami,Gregg S. Pressman
Texas Heart Institute Journal. 2019; 46(1): 21
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Primary ovarian carcinoid: A report of two cases and a decade registry
Islam H. Metwally,Amr F. Elalfy,Shadi Awny,Islam A. Elzahaby,Reham M. Abdelghani
Journal of the Egyptian National Cancer Institute. 2016;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 An Ovarian Carcinoid Tumor With Peptide YY-Positive Insular Component
Chimeddulam Erdenebaatar,Munekage Yamaguchi,Fumitaka Saito,Chisato Motooka,Hironori Tashiro,Hidetaka Katabuchi
International Journal of Gynecological Pathology. 2016; 35(4): 362
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

  In this article
Case Report
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded96    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 3    

Recommend this journal