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Differential diagnosis of the adnexal mass

Lauri Hochberg, MD
Mitchel S Hoffman, MD
Section Editors
Barbara Goff, MD
Rochelle L Garcia, MD
Deborah Levine, MD
Deputy Editor
Sandy J Falk, MD, FACOG


An adnexal mass (mass of the ovary, fallopian tube, or surrounding connective tissues) is a common gynecologic problem. In the United States, it is estimated that there is a 5 to 10 percent lifetime risk for women undergoing surgery for a suspected ovarian neoplasm [1]. Adnexal masses may be found in females of all ages, fetuses to the elderly, and there is a wide variety of types of masses. Pathology in this area may also arise from the uterus, bowel, retroperitoneum, or metastatic disease from another site, such as the gastrointestinal tract or breast.

Evaluation of an adnexal mass relies primarily on pelvic ultrasound, with additional information from history, physical examination, and laboratory tests; patients may require surgical evaluation or treatment.

The different types of adnexal masses are reviewed here. Diagnosis and management of an adnexal mass and other related topics are discussed separately:

(See "Approach to the patient with an adnexal mass".)

(See "Ultrasound differentiation of benign versus malignant adnexal masses".)

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Literature review current through: Dec 2017. | This topic last updated: Aug 10, 2016.
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