Use and Accuracy of Intraoperative Frozen Section Analysis for Ovarian Masses in Children and Adolescents

Midwest Pediatric Surgery Consortium, Lindsay A. Gil, Carley M. Lutz, Patrick A. Dillon, Cynthia D. Downard, Peter F. Ehrlich, Mary E. Fallat, Jason D. Fraser, Julia E. Grabowski, Michael A. Helmrath, S. Paige Hertweck, Ronald B. Hirschl, Rashmi Kabre, Dave R. Lal, Matthew P. Landman, Amy E. Lawrence, Charles M. Leys, Grace Z. Mak, Troy A. Markel, Manish T. RaijiBeth Rymeski, Jacqueline M. Saito, Thomas T. Sato, Shawn D. St. Peter, Linda M.Cherney Stafford, Katherine J. Deans, Peter C. Minneci, Geri D. Hewitt, Jennifer H. Aldrink

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Study Objective: Describe the current practice patterns and diagnostic accuracy of frozen section (FS) pathology for children and adolescents with ovarian masses Design: Prospective cohort study from 2018 to 2021 Setting: Eleven children's hospitals Participants: Females age 6-21 years undergoing surgical management of an ovarian mass Interventions: Obtaining intraoperative FS pathology Main Outcome Measure: Diagnostic accuracy of FS pathology Results: Of 691 patients who underwent surgical management of an ovarian mass, FS was performed in 27 (3.9%), of which 9 (33.3%) had a final malignant pathology. Among FS patients, 12 of 27 (44.4%) underwent ovary-sparing surgery, and 15 of 27 (55.5%) underwent oophorectomy with or without other procedures. FS results were disparate from final pathology in 7 of 27 (25.9%) cases. FS had a sensitivity of 44.4% and specificity of 94.4% for identifying malignancy, with a c-statistic of 0.69. Malignant diagnoses missed on FS included serous borderline tumor (n = 1), mucinous borderline tumor (n = 2), mucinous carcinoma (n = 1), and immature teratoma (n = 1). FS did not guide intervention in 10 of 27 (37.0%) patients: 9 with benign FS underwent oophorectomy, and 1 with malignant FS did not undergo oophorectomy. Of the 9 patients who underwent oophorectomy with benign FS, 5 (55.6%) had benign and 4 (44.4%) had malignant final pathology. Conclusions: FSs are infrequently utilized for pediatric and adolescent ovarian masses and could be inaccurate for predicting malignancy and guiding operative decision-making. We recommend continued assessment and refinement of guidance before any standardization of use of FS to assist with intraoperative decision-making for surgical resection and staging in children and adolescents with ovarian masses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-159
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Frozen section
  • Ovary-sparing surgery
  • Pediatric ovarian mass


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