Struma ovarii is a rare, usually benign ovarian tumour with malignancy occurring in <5% of cases. Metastases, particularly seeding to bone, are extremely rare. Presentation is variable but often features local pain and/or ascites and hyperthyroidism may occur. It is not established how to best treat and follow patients with extensive disease. Case reports of radioiodine (I131) ablative therapy following thyroidectomy have shown reduced recurrence. We describe the case of a 33-year-old woman who presented with bone pain and was diagnosed with skeletal metastases with features of follicular thyroid carcinoma. However, thyroid pathology was benign. She recalled that 5 years prior, an ovarian teratoma was excised, classified at that time as a dermoid cyst. Retrospective review of this pathology confirmed struma ovarii without obvious malignant features. The patient was found to have widespread metastases to bone and viscera and her thyroglobulin was >3000 µg/L following recombinant TSH administration prior to her first dose of I131. At 25 months following radioiodine treatment, she is in remission with an undetectable thyroglobulin and clear I131 surveillance scans. This case demonstrates an unusual presentation of malignant struma ovarii together with challenges of predicting metastatic disease, and demonstrates a successful radioiodine regimen inducing remission.
- Malignant transformation of struma ovarii (MSO) is extremely rare and even rarer are metastatic deposits in bone and viscera.
- MSO can be difficult to predict by initial ovarian pathology, analogous to the difficulty in some cases of differentiating between follicular thyroid adenoma and carcinoma.
- No consensus exists on the management for post operative treatment of MSO; however, in this case, three doses of 6Gbq radioiodine therapy over a short time period eliminated metastases to viscera and bone.
- Patients should continue to have TSH suppression for ~5 years.
- Monitoring thyroglobulin levels can predict recurrence.