BACKGROUND: Meigs' syndrome refers to solid, benign ovarian tumors, ascites, hydrothorax, and resolution of these signs after surgery. Meigs' syndrome with an elevated CA 125 secondary to benign Brenner tumors is exceedingly rare.
CASE: A postmenopausal woman presented with a large pelvic mass, ascites, and a right pleural effusion. Serum CA 125 was 759 IU/mL. Ascitic fluid, pleural fluid, and fine needle aspiration of the mass were without evidence of malignancy. Exploratory laparotomy with total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy revealed benign Brenner tumors. Immunohistochemical staining for CA 125 showed immunoreactivity in the omentum only. Postoperatively, her signs and symptoms resolved completely and did not recur.
CONCLUSION: Cytologic or histologic confirmation of malignancy is imperative in patients with a pelvic mass, ascites, hydrothorax, and elevated CA 125 before initiating chemotherapy.