Adnexal tumors are growths that form on the organs and connective tissues around the uterus in women. Adnexal tumors are most often noncancerous (benign), but they can be cancerous (malignant).Adnexal tumors occur in the Ovaries, Fallopian tubes, Connective tissue around the ovaries or fallopian tubes. Diagnosis of adnexal tumors involves a careful physical exam, imaging tests and, sometimes, surgery. Treatment for adnexal tumors depends on the specific location and types of cells involved.
The pathophysiology is not well understood for most adnexal masses; however, some theories have been proposed. Functional cysts may be the result of variation in normal follicle formation. Mature cystic teratoma may be the result of abnormal germ cell proliferation. Endometriomas are thought to result from retrograde menstruation or coelomic metaplasia. The exact cause of epithelial neoplasms is unknown, but recent studies have suggested a complex series of molecular genetic changes is involved.
Ovarian neoplasms are one of the most common pathologies among women of all age groups. The prevalence of adnexal masses differs according to their clinical manifestations. It has been estimated that 5% to 10% of women in the United States will undergo a surgical procedure owing to a suspected ovarian mass during their lifetime, and 13% to 21% of these women will suffer from malignancy.Up to 300 000 women are hospitalized each year for evaluation of an adnexal mass. The majority of these patients undergo surgery. The prevelance of adnexal masses is 0.17% to 5.9% in asymptomatic and 7.1% to 12% in symptomatic patients.