Ovarian biopsy

Specimen:

Fine needle aspiration biopsy, wedge biopsy or oophorectomy specimen.

Method:

Blood collected pre-operatively for later evaluation of CA 125, alpha fetoprotein, carcinoembryonic antigen, inhibin, human chorionic gonadotrophin (ß subunit) if appropriate. 

Peritoneal washings (for cytology) and peritoneal biopsies (including the omentum) are required if clinical assessment or frozen section indicate malignancy.

Application:

Evaluation of ovarian masses, which are often cystic, and may be inflammatory, infective or neoplastic.

Interpretation:

Report from the pathologist identifies disease process, including tumour type, grade and stage. 

Serum markers may be helpful in monitoring tumour activity post operatively.

Reference:

Kurman J et al. Blaustein's Pathology of the Female Genital Tract. 6th ed. 2011. Springer.