The diagnosis and management of struma ovarii

  • Jennifer L Butt University of Stellenbosch
  • Tanya Wantenaar University of Stellenbosch
Keywords: diagnosis, struma ovarii, surgical management, thyroid follicles


Struma ovarii are a rare type of monodermal teratoma. Preoperative diagnosis of struma ovarii is difficult as the symptoms, clinical presentation and image on ultrasound are often similar to that of ovarian carcinoma. These patients, with mostly benign disease, often have more extensive surgery than necessary. We present the cases of four women who were diagnosed with struma ovarii postoperatively. They illustrate a range of symptoms and varied surgical approaches. The objective of this mini review is to raise awareness of the diagnosis of struma ovarii. The extensiveness of surgery, mostly in premenopausal women, can be reduced if there is a high suspicion of struma ovarii prior to surgery. An ovarian cyst with a large solid component may be suggestive of this diagnosis and magnetic resonance imaging if possible, and serum thyrogglobulin may aid in diagnosis. It is also prudent to test for hyperthyroidism if the diagnosis is suspected, to avoid thyroid crisis during surgery.

Author Biographies

Jennifer L Butt, University of Stellenbosch
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology University of Stellenbosch
Tanya Wantenaar, University of Stellenbosch
Department of Anatomical Pathology University of Stellenbosch and National Health Laboratory Services Tygerberg Hospital
Original Research