Approaches to the management of pediatric ovarian masses in the 21st century: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Document Type



Paediatric Surgery; Women and Child Health


Background: Laparoscopy is increasingly being adopted for the treatment of ovarian pathologies in adults. However, its implementation for the management of pediatric ovarian masses varies and the evidence, to date, has not been comprehensively analyzed. This review aims to compare laparoscopic and open surgical management of pediatric ovarian masses.
Methods: We searched PubMed, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar from the year 2000 till April 2017. Studies selected for this included those on epidemiological trends of pediatric ovarian lesions, assessing outcomes of laparoscopic management and comparison of laparoscopic and open surgical techniques for pediatric ovarian masses. A meta-analysis comparing outcomes of both modalities was performed using standard methodology.
Results: A total of 44 studies met the inclusion criteria of which 15 were on histological types of ovarian lesions, 24 assessed laparoscopic management only and five compared laparoscopy with open surgery for pediatric ovarian masses. Nonneoplastic lesions were the most common ranging from 36.5% to 73.7%, with cystic lesions being the most prevalent. Neoplastic lesions ranged between 26.3% and 63.5%, with germ cell tumors being the most common, while malignancy ranged between 3.5% and 10.8%. Laparoscopic management was generally advocated for managing benign lesions with a cautious approach for suspicion of malignant lesions. In comparison to open surgery, laparoscopic surgery had shorter operating time (MD = -33.24 min, 95% CI = -34.29 to -32.19, p < 0.0001), less intraop bleeding (MD = - 61.46 ml, 95% CI = -62.69 to -60.24, p < 0.0001), and reduced length of hospital stay (MD = -2.78 days, 95% CI= -2.82 to -2.74, p
Conclusion: Limited evidence suggests that laparoscopic approach to presumptively benign ovarian masses have better outcomes when compared to open surgery with regards to operating time, blood loss and hospital stay. However, complication rates were similar between the two approaches. Studies with rigorous scientific methods are needed for a definitive recommendation, especially in resource limiting settings. However malignant lesions should still be managed with an open surgical approach to avoid upstaging of disease status.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Pediatric Surgery