Endometriosis in Abdominal Scars: A Report of Three Cases Diagnosed by Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy

Simsir, Aylin; Thorner, Kim; Waisman, Jerry; Cangiarella, Joan
October 2001
American Surgeon;Oct2001, Vol. 67 Issue 10, p984
Academic Journal
Endometrioma in an operative scar is rare. The majority of patients have no prior history of endometriosis, and symptoms may mimic postoperative hernias. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) can be a valuable diagnostic aid in the evaluation of these subcutaneous abdominal masses. We present the cytologic findings in three cases of abdominal wall endometriomas diagnosed by FNAB. The patients ranged from 31 to 51 years of age. None had a history of endometriosis, but all had prior abdominal operations (two abdominal hysterectomies for fibroids and one cesarean section). They presented 6 months to 7 years later with painful subcutaneous abdominal nodules in their scars ranging from 2 to 6 cm. FNAB was performed by a cytopathologist. The smears were cellular and comprised two distinct cell populations. An epithelial component consisted of flat sheets of polygonal cells with round to oval nuclei and scant cytoplasm. The second component consisted of clusters of fusiform stromal cells. Numerous hemosiderin-laden macrophages were noted in the background. Cytokeratin highlighted the epithelial clusters, and vimentin stained the stromal cells. Electron microscopy showed two epithelial cell types: one with cilia and abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum and the other with numerous microvilli and scattered mitochondria indicative of endometrial differentiation. FNAB provided a rapid and accurate preoperative diagnosis in each case.


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