Tuboovarian abscess in postmenopausal women.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The Journal of reproductive medicine, Volume 35, Issue 5, p.525-8 (1990)


Abscess, ADENOCARCINOMA, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, CARCINOMA, Fallopian Tube Diseases, Female, Genital Neoplasms, Female, Gonorrhea, Humans, Intrauterine Devices, Menopause, Middle Aged, Ovarian Diseases, Parity, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Retrospective Studies


A retrospective review was done on all patients at Tampa General Hospital with a surgically confirmed tuboovarian abscess between March 31, 1983, and April 30, 1988. Patients were grouped according to their menopausal status. Sixty-three were identified. Fifty-four were premenopausal and nine postmenopausal. The median ages of the two groups (26 and 52, respectively) were significantly different. The premenopausal patients had a significantly lower median parity and were significantly more likely to have a prior history of gonorrhea and/or pelvic inflammatory disease. The postmenopausal patients were significantly more likely to have contributing medical problems and to have concomitant genital tract pathology. Such pathology, found in 13% of the premenopausal patients, consisted mainly of large leiomyomata uteri. In 3 (33.3%) of the postmenopausal patients there was a strong preoperative suspicion of a coexisting pelvic abscess originating in the genital tract. Two of the patients developed septic shock shortly before surgery. Concomitant pelvic pathology was present in six patients (66.7%), with four of them having genital tract malignancies. An attempt at early recognition and surgical management of tuboovarian abscess is important in postmenopausal women. There is little to be gained by delaying surgical treatment, and the patient is at significant risk of deterioration. In addition, surgical exploration appears to be vital to the recognition and treatment of concomitant pelvic malignancy or other pathologic conditions that may be contributing to the abscess.