Fourteen cases of neoplasms metastatic to the ovaries in children 10 weeks to 15 years of age are reported. Eight tumors were neuroblastomas, 7 primary in the adrenal gland, and 1 primary in the posterior mediastinum. Three tumors were rhabdomyosarcomas primary in the ethmoid sinus, right occipital region, and left thigh, respectively. The final three tumors were a Ewing's sarcoma, a rhabdoid tumor, and a carcinoid tumor primary in the fibula, kidney, and lung, respectively. The ovarian involvement was an autopsy finding in nine of the patients. Three of the remaining five patients presented clinically with manifestations suggesting a primary ovarian tumor, and the final two patients, who had known extraovarian primary tumors, had symptomatic ovarian masses discovered during life. In one case of neuroblastoma and the case of rhabdoid tumor, the ovarian metastases were initially misinterpreted pathologically as primary ovarian cancers; the primary renal tumor was not discovered until autopsy in the latter case. The ovarian tumors were bilateral in 8 of the 14 cases. Ovarian enlargement was present in 10 cases. Our experience and that in the literature indicates that the childhood tumor that spreads to the ovary most frequently is the neuroblastoma and that rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common sarcoma of childhood that spreads to the ovary. The clinical features and the frequent bilaterality of ovarian metastatic tumors are helpful diagnostic features in many cases, but when the ovarian tumor is the presenting manifestation of the disease, is unilateral, or both, differentiation from various primary ovarian tumors may be difficult.
©1993International Society of Gynecological Pathologists